Consider Training As a Reward, Not a Requirement

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Most savvy HR managers and trainers recognize the value of training programs as something beyond a mandatory best practice — they’re a critical element of business success, and the programs themselves should be engaging, challenging, and fun.  Sharlyn Lauby at the popular HR Bartender takes the concept to an even higher plane in her recent dispatch, suggesting that managers consider offering training on a more exclusive basis — as an earned reward.

As Lauby writes, “organizations are using training and development as a means to demonstrate how much they care about their employees.  It’s a benefit to both the company and the employee.  They’re letting employees know that the investment being made by the company is because they want employees to be successful.”

“On the flip side,” she adds, “employees are telling employers, training is valuable to me now and in the future. If you want me to stay, train me.

Which makes a lot of sense. Employees won’t stick around if they feel like they aren’t developing their skills or growing in their career, and employers have limited resources to share. What’s interesting is that this is actually very common in sports — just think of an elite tennis or soccer academy, or minor league baseball. Talented athletes are spotted and invested in, and they become even more proficient at their game. While some employers do have selective training programs for top performers, this isn’t a common program. As Gabe Zichermann taught us that people highly value status, maybe it’s time your training program got a rebrand and became something to work for, as opposed to something to dread.

As Lauby adds, “maybe in today’s knowledge economy, training should be reserved as something special.  For people who do a fabulous job.  Individuals who will take the information and better themselves and the company along with it.”

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