With the recession gradually easing, its time to take stock. Many companies cut costs (rightly or wrongly) and hunkered down to deal with the difficult economy. I don’t begrudge anyone taking tough measures to save their company. I did the same thing.

But guess what I did not cut? Training, employee development and professional improvement. Yes I know what you are saying … But these are cost centers .. maybe.. but they are also your single most effective competitive advantage!

I like this article from www.plasticstoday.com:

“If you aren’t doing all you can to train the next generation of skilled workers, within a decade you may find yourself without the knowledge you need.” Clare Goldsberry.

According to Pohl:

Pohl said that every company needs a good employee development plan that includes:
1. Implementing a proactive worker recruiting and hiring program. “Don’t wait for them to come to you,” he advised. “Go find them.”
2. Implement a structured employee training program, along with an existing-employee improvement program.
3. Identify non-skill (soft) success characteristics. List the skill-related ideal employee for your shop. “Be creative in where you look,” advised Pohl. “Do you like the way the young person at Best Buy explains high-tech equipment to you? [This demonstrates technical know-how.] Always keep your eyes open for the type of person you’ve identified that would be an asset to your company.”
4. Then present this person with solid reasons for working in the industry. Ask if he or she has a friend that might be interested. “It all starts with you,” said Pohl.
5. Provide structured employee training. “Don’t just say ‘go work with Charlie and he’ll show you the ropes,’” said Pohl. “You need planned days of orientation.”
6. Provide efficient skills development, including:
• Expectations and outcomes.
• Mentorship—pass down the knowledge and skills.
• Apprenticeship program. “We need to take another look at this,” said Pohl.

Read the whole article here


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