My parents are life-long learners. Thankfully, they passed the importance of being a life-long learner down to their children. When I was growing up, even when we went on vacation, we had to learn something. If we were at the beach we needed to properly identify all the shells we found. If we were in the mountains, we needed to be able to name the different types of trees or learn the history of the area. I will always be grateful for the example my parents set.
When you think about your employees, are you helping them be life-long learners? I read a great quote recently by Anne M. Mulcahy: “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”
There are a number of ways you can invest in your employees – one is a culture of continuous learning. Creating a culture of continuous learning can include routine job related training classes, and general learning that isn’t necessarily job related but excites the employee and perhaps prepared them for greater contributions to the company. Anything that expands an employee’s thinking, vision, knowledge and creativity makes them a more productive and positive employee.
Think of times someone has invested in you. How did it make you feel? Grateful? Indebted? Worthwhile? The next time you are weighing the cost of investing in your employees through training or workshops, try to think about how the cost compares to increased productivity per employee. If as a result of the investment, each employee closes one new deal or develops one new customer relationship, you have already covered the cost of the training with that first sale or first new customer.
Happy employees who feel appreciated and invested in by their employer will work harder and stay longer. Interviewing, hiring, training and getting new employees up to speed is expensive and can cause a loss in productivity. Help create a culture of continuous learning by investing in your employees. The benefits will come back to you in the form of productivity.
All the best,