As I look back across two decades of working with companies around the world, from start-ups to the top of the Fortune 500, there are a few key ideas that I think are fundamental to business success, here is one of them:
The success of your business is directly tied to the quality of the people that you can get, grow and keep on your team – and the relationships they create with your customers.
I have yet to meet a single business leader that does not strongly agree with this idea, however, I see a lot of businesses where they do not actually live this idea. Today I want to talk about the growth and development of top talent.
Once you get somebody on your team, there is absolutely no excuse for not investing time, energy and money in helping that person continuously improve.
Frankly, I believe this is the single most important investment you can make in your company because, without highly talented people who are steadily getting better and better, you have no chance of making your company better and better. I also write above that there is, “no excuse” because never in the history of humankind has there been more information available, much of it for free, to assist you in delivering world-class training to your people.
Here are just a few of the things that you should be doing:
- Formal mentoring program
- Creating a formal development plan for each employee
- Creating an internal training department
- Training classes taught by qualified outside instructors
- Cross training
- Benchmarking your training efforts against leading companies
- Buying a copy of a book for each of your employees
- Creating a lending library of top business books
- Getting your employees a membership to an audiobook service
- Getting your employees a membership to a book summary service
- Bringing in outside experts for a “lunch and learn”
- Taking your employees to visit other companies
- Sending out a newsletter with good information for your employees
- Sending out a list of top podcasts they should be listening to
- Sending out a list of YouTube videos they should watch
- Investing in online/virtual training for your employees
- Taking your employees to a major training seminar by an expert
- Taking your employees to an industry event
- Annual or semiannual company training conferences
- A formal recognition and rewards program
- Team building events
- Regular coaching meetings
- One-on-one meetings with senior executives
- Lunch with the CEO
- Getting high potential employees a business coach
These are just a few things that I came up with off the top of my head, I’m sure there are several more you could add to this list. But here is my point: if you are not doing all or most of this then you’re not truly serious about helping your people (and your company) to be as successful as possible. A good deal of what I have listed is absolutely free, much of it is very inexpensive, and only a few things require a significant financial investment. But I can tell you this, not doing the things on this list is very, very expensive.
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