Investing in your staff instead of simply using them

Investing in your staff instead of simply using them

There is certainly more than a grain of truth in this age old gripe. Small companies have a tendency to “use” junior staff instead of train them up adequately and encourage them to advance their education. In my experience of advising SME owners , especially those who are recent start-ups, they fear that the juniors will learn too much too fast and leave to compete or set up on their own , or that once they have some extra qualifications of any type at all they will demand a wage rise.

On the face of it these are legitimate concerns. After all , who wants to put in the hours and the effort only to see their protege walk off , and a major worry for small concerns is cashflow , with wages often comprising the single largest item that keeps business owners awake at night.

However, upon closer inspection , these are short sighted views . If you train somebody to a higher standard they will perform better and bring you more income (directly or indirectly) , and not just because they have better talents, also because they will be more motivated , and a happy worker is a good worker. This in turn will obviate the cashflow worries as the business should now be growing.

Yes, eventually they may well leave you but the odds are that they will stay much longer if they are looked after and offered good prospects , during which time they may well help your business flourish in a way it never stood a chance of , had you simply kept them under your thumb with out ceding some control and authority to them. A younger mindset and a fresh way of thinking is certainly worth having on board – trust me , you don’t know it all !

Young people nowadays are savvier than ever and they know that there are greater opportunities out there, so if you don’t offer them the learning experience as sure as day follows night , somebody else will. Look upon staff training as an investment rather than an overhead and a threat

As a parting thought it is also worth remembering that you were once working as somebody’s junior – how was your experience and are you going to repeat the same mistakes with your own staff ?

Leave a comment