Training

Make the Most of Your Training Budget

For many companies, this time of year is budget season. I know, you’re thinking…oh joy! Don’t remind me. But we bring this up for an important reason: the development of your employees. It’s pretty easy to view employee training as an expense to be managed; as just another line item or as an area to cut to balance your budget. But do you know the result of this mindset? It can create a reactionary culture of supervisors that wait to act until something negative happens. It can result in employees learning to take action after something is a problem, instead of planning to eliminate it. It can create misalignment in your company’s goals, take away from employee engagement, and bring about a culture you’re not exactly happy about.

A comprehensive training plan and training budget should be viewed as an investment…not just as an expense. Employee training doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive. And it can provide a measurable return on investment that not only justifies, but validates the expense.

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Who is responsible for your career development?

There are all kinds of studies that show the main reasons people leave their jobs. One of the top reasons in almost every study is for lack of career development. So as an employee, you might ask yourself, “Who is responsible for my career development?”

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Our Supervisors Need Help!

We’re always talking to company owners or department heads, and one of the most frequent statements we hear is, “Our supervisors need help.” When we ask them to be more specific, often the reply has something to do with helping them get more productivity from the teams they lead.

Our question then becomes, “So, what do you want to do about it?”

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Ask, Don’t Tell – Coaching through Facilitation

History has taught us that one of the main responsibilities of a manager is to answer employees’ questions. Of course, this seems like a noble gesture. And it could be necessary when employees don’t have the needed information. But in reality, true empowerment comes from helping employees learn where to find or figure out what they need. And that comes from facilitation.

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Executive Decision Rights…More Than Delegation

Bottlenecks. Every company has them. What we don’t think about is the cost of each and every one of them. But think about it…the time it takes to elevate decisions and get all of the information from those who know, communicate the response, and perhaps justify it, all while doing other responsibilities takes too long and can be costly. The cost is more than just time itself; it’s an increase in frustration and a decline of motivation.

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The future of your company is NOW!

You have a great management team. They are well trained and provide great leadership to their direct reports. They make great decisions. They are passionate about what they do and there is very little coaching needed to help them reach the company goals. But wait…How many of them will be retiring or leaving your company in the next five years? Have you done any future planning?

Most companies have invested time and resources to develop the leadership team. It probably took years to find just the right mix of diverse thinking, skills, communication styles, and talents. It is an art to find just the right mix. But how long will it last?

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You coach. But they don’t listen.

Being a manager has its ups and downs. Sometimes, your team is on a roll; they’re rock stars. Things are going great. They’re following your direction and they’re hitting goals. Then you get to celebrate!

Other times, nothing seems to be going right. You know you’ve got good people, but you can’t get them to follow your lead. You coach and train them several times, and while most of them catch on, there’s that one person who will continually do things his own way, despite all the time you spent training and coaching.

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Keeping the Saw Sharp

One of my favorite quotes comes from Abe Lincoln.  He is cited as saying, “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” Basically, he would spend two thirds of his time improving the tools that make him effective at his work. Sounds easy, but how can a person remember to spend time sharpening instead of continuing to struggle through life’s daily challenges?

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Just Send Them to a Workshop!

I just left a meeting with a prospective client. Like most of our clients, she came to me because she thinks her team needs some training. “They need to take responsibility. They need to communicate better. They need some motivation. I want to send them to a workshop!”

If it’s not an actual statement, at least the thought goes through the minds of managers and executives across the globe daily. But should you send them to a workshop?

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The Reality of “The Supervisor Sandwich”

Confrontation is certainly not the easiest part of being a manager. In fact, it’s probably your least favorite. It’s human nature to avoid interpersonal discord. Many people hope a problem just corrects itself without our intervention. But, is that manner of thinking really reality? How can you provide coaching for an employee, co-worker, or even your own supervisor and have it be a positive experience?

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