Continual Training…Continual Growth

If the organization is not willing to assist you monetarily or with time to train, do it yourself.

By Jeff Kortes, President, Human Asset Management LLC

Who should be responsible for the training and growth of an employee? Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the employee. But it also lies with several others, as well. The immediate supervisor and the organization itself also have an obligation to provide opportunities and encourage an employee to grow. Can an employee grow in a non-supportive environment? Absolutely. But it is much harder.

Often, employees feel it is the responsibility of the organization to “train them.” If you are an employee reading this, guess again! If the organization is not willing to assist you monetarily or with time to train, do it yourself. Do it foryourself. Take the extra classes, go for the certification in your profession, and read books in your field of expertise. After all, if you are ever downsized, a prospective employer is not going to ask where you got the training—just if you have it. Without it, you are at a competitive disadvantage.

Beyond protecting yourself, how else do you expect to get promoted and take that next step? Position yourself by taking the actions needed so you are the clear choice when a promotion comes. Your growth and training is a key differentiator when decisions are made. As organizations have cut back on memberships in professional societies because of tight budgets, did you reach into your own pocket so you could stay engaged in the profession? Do you budget a certain amount of your own funds to get out for training or take those extra classes that will take you to the next level and keep you current? Lastly, are you reading…constantly? Are you absorbing new ideas and concepts that keep you on the cutting edge in your field of expertise or in business? If you answered, “No,” to those questions, you need to correct those deficiencies and start. Be selfish. Do it for yourself!

As a boss, do you look for opportunities to expand the knowledge of your employees? This could include putting them on challenging assignments, bringing them in on projects you are working on, challenging them to think out of the box, and encouraging them to increase their knowledge? If not, why not? In this day of shrinking staffs, you face the prospect of having to do more with less. You can work harder…or you can develop the capabilities of your people so you increase the capabilities of your department and accomplish more with less. Your people are the only resource you have to get the job done, and they are the horses that will help youto pull the wagon. Be selfish. Help your people grow. It’s in your self-interest. Another huge benefit of helping them grow is keeping them engaged and giving them opportunities they will not have in another organizations—thus helping you to retain them.

Continual training is essential to the success of an individual employee in their career. It is also instrumental in the success of any supervisor. The question is: Are you seeking those opportunities as an employee and as a supervisor? If not, start doing it out of selfishness. Do it for yourself!

Jeff Kortes is known as the “No Nonsense Guy.” He is the president of Human Asset Management LLC, a human resource consulting firm specializing in executive search and leadership training. He has trained hundreds of first-line supervisors, managers, and executives during his career. His approach to training is no-nonsense, and practical. Kortes is also a member of the National Speakers Association and a regular speaker on the topics of retention, recruiting, and leadership. For more information, visit

Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.