Investing in Your People

Monday, August 15 2016
Invest In EmployeesWe do not think twice about investing time and money in our homes, cottages and vehicles to enhance and maintain their function and value; but, as business leaders, do we invest enough in enhancing and maintaining our people assets?

A report from the Conference Board of Canada indicated that in 2014 Canadian companies invested an average of $705 per employee on training, and that was an increase over prior years.

The idea is heavily promoted that your one true competitive advantage is your people. However, individuals come and go, so it might be argued that your competitive advantage ebbs and flows with employee attraction and attrition. For smaller companies (most of us) the loss of even one or two highly skilled individuals can be devastating. Especially if they go to the competition!

The Conference Board report also stated that, “…organizations with strong learning cultures tend to realize better business results.” Organizations that invest in their employees also demonstrate higher engagement. Both engagement and business performance tie into higher employee retention. And employers are more likely to invest in employees if they believe they are likely to stay.

So the argument is circular:

Investment Cycle

Investment requires strategic thinking: doing something with intent. Take a moment and review your strategic priorities. Where does the investment in training of our most valuable assets fit into the plan? Is there a SMART goal tied to a training strategy? And most important, does that training extend beyond technical/equipment training to include the essential soft skills of leadership, teamwork, and sales? As fall approaches, so does the ‘training season’ and the magic happens where planning meets opportunity.