when training doesn’t make sense

I am passionate about personal and professional improvement, firmly believe in investing in employees, yet recognize that training doesn’t always make sense. Here are a few of those situations:

  • Your company is hyper-focused on quarterly results. Training is a long term proposition. If you only look at immediate performance, investing in tomorrow is counterproductive. Unless you think you’re going to want the business to get better a couple of quarters from now, training is pointless.
  • Your company is more focused on saving money than making money. Training is expensive and an easy way to save costs. You can also save a few more bucks if you fire your maintenance staff and never upgrade your equipment. After all, the corresponding decline in individual and organizational performance will take time to show up. Two years from now, when you are in steady decline and your competition blows past you, you can blame the economy. If you try hard enough, you can save yourself broke.
  • You like mediocrity. Not everyone wants to improve their results. I get that.
  • You cannot handle the idea that some of your best performers will leave. Yep, if you really invest in your people, some of them will be lured away. If you want to keep the completion from eyeing your employees, be sure to hire underperformers and keep ‘em stupid.
  • You are so behind because of perpetual fire drills that you can’t keep up with today, let alone think about tomorrow. Don’t worry, once the company goes under, you’ll have plenty of free time.
  • Your employees hate training and complain loudly. Don’t bother wasting training dollars on them. They won’t learn anyway. Good job on selecting people who will save you money by refusing to improve. Maybe you can hire some more just like them – then you’ll really be profitable.
  • You can’t afford high performers. High performers cost more to hire and cost more to keep. They tend to want to get better and be attracted to organizations that will invest in them.

So you see, training and development really only makes sense if you want individuals, teams, and an organization that performs well and improves over time. If you don’t want that, you needn’t bother with training.

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