By: Jack Bader
If an employer wants to avoid a constantly “mobile workforce,” it’s vital to provide reasons for your good workers to stay put: training is one of those reasons other than just the skills to be acquired.
The economy always seems to move at an ever increasing pace, companies are seeking more and more productivity from their employees, repetitive jobs are moving offshore. The pressure to produce more with less is felt everywhere. It seems like many employers are also moving towards hiring people with the exact skills that are needed rather than training the people that they have.
Employees are beginning to feel less connected to their employers. The “mobile workforce” has made it much easier and almost expected to move from one job to another for reasons as simple as work environment and perks rather than the traditional reason of money.
How does a company demonstrate to its employees that they care about them in both personal and professional ways? With the move to send IT services offshore these questions are becoming much more important. The remaining IT staff possesses far more business knowledge and is critical to running the various operations…keeping them is much more important.
Recently, the value of training was driven home to me in our office as one answer to the retention question. For the past several years I have participated in a CEO group where a dozen business owners from non-competing territories periodically get together to discuss common business issues and make suggestions to each other. At the end of the February meeting, as part of my commitments to the group, I decided to provide sales/recruiting training to our entire office.
We brought in Al Dubuc from Oz Consulting who travels nationally to provide this specialized training. We recently completed 4 full days of group and one-on-one training. We actually closed the office for 2 days which was a bit unnerving for us all.
While a lot of the material covered topics that some of us already knew, it was valuable to have everyone’s attention focused on the “nuts and bolts” of our business and relearning the skills that are necessary to provide excellent service to our clients. For the newbies in our organization it was critical knowledge that will be immediately useful. The training was refreshing, thoroughly entertaining and provided solid skills enhancement to our employees.
Even someone like me who has been in the business for more years than I care to count came away with new skills and a revitalized attitude. Many of our employees told me how much they appreciated our investing in their futures.
According to Al Dubuc NetEffects is part of a small percentage of IT consulting firms who realize that training their internal staff is valuable. It is another example of the investments that we make to provide our clients with excellent service.
Earlier this year we created NetEffects University. It is an online training program for technical and professional skills enhancement. Through this program consultants are able to prepare for various technical certifications that benefit them in their daily assignments with our clients. This has been positively received by our consultants and our clients.
Our clients should also recognize that the NetEffects consultants that are brought in for engagements can also be used to mentor and train internal staff. A “train the trainer” approach can be an effective technique.
Training is not just an expense that reduces the bottom-line but rather a true investment in your resources. It helps employees become more productive which in turn leads to increasing the bottom-line profit. In addition, I have come to believe that it sends a clear message to employees that we value them, care about their future and want them to succeed.