Can You Afford to Develop Your Employees? Can You Afford Not To?


November 17, 2017 7:54 pm Published by

I confess. I’m deliberately misquoting the Bard with this illustration. Shakespeare never actually penned that particular saying. But had he been a better businessperson, he might well have. The real question isn’t: “Can you afford to develop your employees?” It’s actually: “Can you afford not to?” I’ve written before about the importance of investing in the development of your employees, but I’d like to add some additional thoughts to why it’s so important.

There’s a recent Forbes article, based on an October 2017 survey released by the American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence that provides some sobering information. Roughly 50 percent of American workers are worried about their jobs changing. Essentially, many employees are concerned that they won’t be able to keep up with the changes that their current jobs will require. That kind of concern doesn’t lead people to perform at their best.

But that’s not all there is to the story. A 2015 survey by Gallup revealed that when 93 percent of American workers advanced their careers, they did so by taking a job with a different company—rather than by advancing within their current place of employment.

Think about the loss of corporate knowledge and skill that represents! And then add to that the cost (in both time, money, and effort) to hire and retrain new employees. That’s the kind of situation that has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. Forget about growing your company. If you’re losing key employees because you’re not helping them to grow—you’re going backwards!

That’s why it’s so important that you not only hire the right people for your company, but that you also take the time to invest in their future. It benefits them and it benefits your company.

Sometimes companies are afraid that developing their employees’ capabilities will only make them more attractive to competitors. There’s probably some truth to that, but it’s really shortsighted. Nothing builds employee loyalty quite like having their best interests met. And employee development is only one part of creating a corporate culture that draws—and retains the best possible employees.

It’s true that developing your employees will cost you something. But it’s really not an expense—it’s an investment in their future and in yours. That’s why the real question isn’t whether you can afford to develop your employees; it’s whether you can afford not to.

Contact me to find out more about the kinds of things you can do to increase your employees’ value to your company. That’s all part of transforming your company into the high-growth business you want it to be.

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This post was written by Chuck Kocher