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Here's why you can't afford to curtail training efforts
by Dr. Terry Stimson
When companies start looking for ways to cut costs, sometimes it seems training programs are first in the crosshairs. After all, naysayers are always quick to suggest that the more you spend on training, the more you lose if employees go to work for your competitors. Now they can say that the more you spend on training, the more you lose when workers are laid off. Here are two possible responses:
* If you stop training, your workforce remains stagnant. Organizations that continue training are better positioned to weather crises because their employees can more easily take up the slack left by departing workers. And workers will be more motivated to help the company if they feel the company is willing to help them. Remember: If your workers grow, your company grows. If your workers stand still, so does your organization.
* If you stop training, your workforce may desert you. Let's say that your employees have heard your company is considering layoffs. Then your planned development curriculum is cancelled. Employees may think: "Obviously the company doesn't want to continue my training because I'm going to be laid off." And what will they do? Find another job. If you stop training, you're signaling to workers that they no longer have a future with your organization.
Of course, not everyone will leave. Some may stay out of loyalty. But some will stay because a) they don't feel they're marketable or b) don't care to improve their skills. Makes training look pretty good, doesn't it?
--Adapted from "Ongoing training can be your biggest asset," by Lloyd Smigel, in Pest Control (Featured in Employee Recruitment and Retention, January 2002)