For decades, corporate training has taken its share of knocks. Most employee development initiatives have been dismissed as little more than honey-roasted tokens of appreciation tossed down to worker bees from senior managers. In less than stellar economic times, employee training and development was cut entirely or shoved aside to either free coveted resources for "more important" corporate initiatives, or simply to make the bottom line appear a little brighter.
Well I, for one, am glad those days are gone. And despite recent predictions that our economy is headed for a downward turn, I don't think the corporate world is likely to revert to those previously held, downright inaccurate opinions of training and development. Call me naive, but I also don't think training's relevance will be called into question any longer. Will it have to be justified and provide some type of return? Of course. But that's a different story.
Despite my rather rosy predictions, should you, by chance, come across people in the near or distant future still clinging to those archaic, inane views, give them this issue of Training. Tell them to flip to page 57 and begin reading. It's not our wonderful wordsmithing that will trigger the much needed change of mind and, hopefully, heart. Rather, it's the inaugural Top 50 Training Organizations, and more specifically, the phenomenal training and development programs underway in corporations around the globe.
If some of the prominent Top 50 names alone don't do the trick (you know, the old "I wanna be like them" approach), the naysayers might be swayed by the sheer numbers. After all, more than $5 billion spent annually by just 50 companies is nothing to sneeze at. Nor is 3.9 percent of payroll?and that's just the average amount that training and development accounted for in the Top 50. Or suggest they read about IBM?s
$24 million savings and 57-to-1 return on investment from a single training program; the
$1.3 million that Dow Chemical Co. saved; or the 25 percent increase in manufacturing capacity that TDIndustries achieved following , what? A training program.
If the numbers don't do the trick, you might actually have to start reading to them. Start with the Outstanding Initiatives?short synopses of unique training programs that will no doubt spark some interest in even the most skeptical.
If, after all that, you still can't convince them to give training its just rewards, well tell them to find a new job , one that doesn't require interaction with people, and certainly not one with any of the companies in the Top 50, because they do believe in the power of the people. On second thought, don't waste your breath.
COPYRIGHT Bill Communications Inc. 2001. All rights reserved.