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Ah, the fear of training employees. Any investment you put into your talent could go to your competitor when people move on. That fear of lost investment creates a reluctance to train your own employees.
“You get into this paradox of ‘I can’t find the talent I’m looking for yet I don’t want to risk investing training into that talent to develop them because they might end up going to our competitor,’” explained Mark Bennett, Product strategy director for Oracle Fusion Network at Work and Oracle Fusion Profile management
This fear is holding many managers back, said Bennett during our discussion at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, California.
The companies that move past that simply learn to manage the risk, said Bennett. You have to take risks to get benefits. Invest a little, see how it works. If good, invest a little more.
Here are some techniques Bennett recommends:
Invest a little at a time: Instead of putting all your investment at once into one individual, do a little investment and see how they respond in terms of improved response and engagement.
Share the risk: Have the person invest additional time to show that they’re committed to the investment.
Deliver benefits on performance: Give the employee the necessary training, but don’t give them a pay raise until they can prove they can take on the new responsibilities.
How you train your employees and treat them becomes part of your company brand, said Bennett. Prospective employees will soon learn how your company invests in their employees. That improves the brand and announces to candidates your company is willing to invest in their employees. But don’t open the door wide and just say, “Come on in and we’ll train you” as people can abuse that kindness as a one-way exchange.