“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can — there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.” — Sarah Caldwell
By Lisa Ryan
Your employees want to be better, stronger, and faster tomorrow than they are today. By showing them that you are willing to invest time, money, and resources in their betterment, your team members are likely to be more loyal to your organization.
In her employee engagement matters article, Hirra Pervaiz finds that “training serves as a motivator for an employee’s commitment level to the organization. Investing in its people gives a positive impression to the employee that the organization is concerned about their careers and advancements. It also gives the employee the sense of being an ‘insider’ and an important resource in an organization.”
According to the Kin Team, “Keep in mind that it’s not just the programs you deliver, it’s also the fact that you’re putting time and resources towards offering them that helps build trust and engagement with your employee population.”
Many of your staff have not picked up a nonfiction book or taken a class since graduating from high school or college. Because they are out of practice when it comes to learning new information, the self-motivation needed to take professional development courses on their own may be lacking. You have a responsibility to your team members to not only provide training opportunities but to encourage your employees to engage in learning. After all, acquiring new knowledge is a great way for individuals to stretch themselves and increase their mental capacity.
Lee, a long-time reader of my “Gratitude Thought for the Week” shares his perspective on the power of learning: “When I was in the Army, I held several positions within my classification. Each time I mastered a job, I was moved to a different assignment. One day I asked the Lieutenant in charge why, if he thought I was so good at my job, he continually moved me to something else. Forty-six years later, I can remember his response word for word. He told me that I was promoted, ‘not because I was good at doing the job, it was because I was good at learning the job. If I could learn one job, I was capable of learning the next one.’”
Lee continues, “If we can admit to ourselves that learning is the key, we may be able to take it one step at a time and try something new. We may just discover that our comfort zone is much larger than we think!”
Yes, choosing to invest in business-related courses for your employees is a terrific idea. Here’s something else to consider — why not let your employees pick and choose their own courses to study — either personal OR professional development? If they’re learning and stretching themselves, does it really matter what they’re taking?
Once your team members discover that learning can be fun, there’s a good chance they will continue to grow their skills for their personal benefit as well as the good of your company. When you give your staff the gift of knowledge, you receive a better, stronger, faster team that is strongly committed to you and your company.
Lisa Ryan is the founder of Grategy, where she helps organizations create more positive work environments. She is the author of eight books and co-stars in two documentaries: the award-winning “The Keeper of the Keys” and “The Gratitude Experiment.” She can be reached at (216) 225-8027 and via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.