I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – cut the training budget, you won’t see a return on your investment for some time and its money better spent elsewhere….unless you would like to improve your business past next month and retain your people in which case you may want to think differently!
If you believe some people, the world is going to hell in a handcart. The decisions of Standard & Poors seem to have a bigger impact than those of our elected leaders and we seem to be lurching from one sub-crisis to another. The behaviour this seems to be driving is interesting, in that it seems to be bringing out the worst kind of short-term, micro managing, short-sighted demons and what impact that is having on employees everywhere can’t be measured but I would imagine insecurity is rife.
There was a tweet floating around some months ago (and don’t ask me where it started) but it went something like:
FD: What if we invest in our people and then they leave
CEO: But what if we don’t and they stay
As much as I’m sure it got a few chuckles at the time it does seem the business case against developing people (at least at an organisational level) is getting easier and easier to make with each passing day and whilst organisational appetite may have waned does that mean individual appetite has? [Rhetorical question!!]
With the amount of insecurity in the economy and with that in companies at the moment you could say the smart move was to protect an investment in development (and I am largely biased in this but bear with me….) because given the climate surely this is the time when organisations need the most commitment/loyalty/tenacity etc etc from their employees and given the financial constraints on ‘buying’ that surely this comes down to leadership?
Earlier this year I was talking to a friend who works in a large US owned business and she had just merged two teams. When I asked what activity had taken place to support the merging of the teams she looked uncomfortable and shared the fact that aside from electronic and 1 to 1 communication and two 1 hour meetings she had been unable to get further support and had been told “we don’t have time or money for team building at the moment”. That response (and hers is not the only business I’ve heard it from) leaves me asking these rhetorical questions:
- Do you teams function better in a climate of insecurity?
- Does lack of available investment mean your team automatically commit to each other and the organisation?
- Do ways of working develop within a team by osmosis because they can’t spare half a day away from their desks?
- Do the individuals within the team now magically understand their role in delivering the mission/vision/strategy?
Now as a person who works in HR it could be argued that I am blogging in praise of a gravy train. If that is what you think that is your opinion and you’re entitled to it but the next time you get the opportunity reflect on this thought: would a small amount of time/energy/money invested in your team or organisation make them more effective at weathering the storm we are all experiencing?