Training makes all the difference

firing comic

Training besides pay is the single biggest thing you can do to keep employees. Why don’t employers realize this?

Companies think they can hire someone who has all of the skills that they want. Most of the time this isn’t true. People who have high-end skills can work from home, or have more options than working for one particular employer. Imagine the loyalty and gratitude someone has who has an employer who helps upskill his skillset. It is remarkable.

Out of all the jobs in my career only 1 that I can think of has given me any sort of on-the-job training. The rest shoved responsibilities onto me that I didn’t sign up for, and with systems that I didn’t understand. I had to pay for my own education to learn and manage those systems and it was a real cost that I was never compensated for in any way.

Now don’t get me wrong. I had companies frequently ask me what kind of things I would like to learn that they would pay for. I told them and the courses ranged from very low costs $50 to thousands of dollars. They would have increased the capabilities of the company with the systems that I was directly responsible for. None of them offered to pay for me. They listened, and then I heard silence.

You can speculate that they didn’t feel I was worth it, and perhaps you are right. Then if I wasn’t worth it, why ask me? The truth is that every company that I left for a better opportunity sincerely regretted my leaving. I know because my old coworkers would contact me on LinkedIn and talk with me. If I wasn’t worth it, I wouldn’t have a job, and sometimes you are worth it even if the company has downsides due to economic factors.

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Regardless of my personal worth to be invested, let’s look at the hard numbers. Hiring a more expensive person, taking a chance they might not work out, the time it takes to ramp up the person, and the likelihood that people who could have done it with training, the training costs are far cheaper. Why don’t companies want to train? The myth is that there is always someone to replace you. Yes, there are always people who will take a job, but few people are willing to stay, and the cost of turnover is so high.

I shared before that some of the companies that I worked for contacted me to ask if I would be interested in coming back to work for them. The answer was no. They said nice things like “We couldn’t find anyone who was like you.” I wish they would have realized that when I was there. Too often companies don’t know what they have until it is gone.