While I was discussing the different ways of leveraging changes in a company, a little story came back into my mind. It’s a famous one, I think, but it still worth being shared:
“During a company’s board meeting, The HR director is asking for a budget to provide communication and soft skills training to the employees.
– The CFO: but what happen if people leave the company? we’ll loose this investment.
– The CEO: maybe, but what will happen if they stay and we don’t train them?”
Budget to train people are sometimes hard to obtain (fortunately, not in most companies). The dialog here above must not be so far of the questions that senior executives might have in mind, sometime.
One of the question that comes to my mind is: where does the value of your company reside? Is it in hardware, software, bricks or in your employees’ ability to perform their jobs efficiently. Where are your margins? Where do you have room for improvement? In IT, it is quite common to purchase hardware of software with maintenance included. It seems to be less the case with people. Although most HR department have budget for training, I often hear that it is not fully used when we are talking about consulting companies or that there is not enough to train people as they should be in other. It also strikes me that some companies prefer to provide technical training, hard skills, than soft skills. But if you think about it, what are the most difficult skills to develop? Hard or soft? And training like stress management, emotion management, inter-personal communication or mindfulness are often sees as solution to a problem or a “deficiency”. Should they not be part of the common skills all employees should have? Wouldn’t it be beneficial for all?
Of course, one of the risk might be that your employee become to love their work, their managers and their company and finally decide to stay because they are happy. It is a risk. Are you ready to face it?