In tight economic times, when talent is readily available, some organizations cut back on training. Unfortunately, once the economy picks up and talent pools diminish, these organizations find themselves at a distinct disadvantage.
Having the right leadership mind-set is critical to ensure a workforce that meets organizational needs.
Minding the Ebbs and Flows
In terms of training and development, “the companies that are leading the pack are those that have the foresight to see the ebbs and flows of the marketplace,” says Jodi Low, founder and CEO of U & Improved, based in Scottsdale.
“The economy will have spikes and dips, booms and busts,” Low says. “Those that realize that investing in their people’s personal and professional growth isn’t an optional line item, but rather an absolute necessity, will ride any waves and downturns because they have positioned themselves and their people to do so.”
Cultivating the Right Leadership Mind-Set
What leading companies do in terms of how they approach training and development is less important than how they think, says Low. That mind-set is what sets top companies apart, she says. These top-tier organizations, she says, are “those that not only invest in leadership development training, but seek out experiential training that has proven sustainability.”
These companies realize that people development is not about throwing employees in front of a computer and asking them to watch a video or webinar in order to tick a box and say, “We trained our people,” she says. “The mindset of the companies that truly ‘get it’ is about investing in their growth through experiential training that allows them to learn about themselves at such a deep level they come back with a level of dedication, clarity and vision that they didn’t have prior.”
Training as a Process, Not an Event
Importantly, to be most effective, training needs to be viewed as a process, not an event. It needs to be an ongoing strategic initiative designed to continually monitor skills gaps, implement tactics to address those gaps, and measure outcomes, continually improving through each cycle of learning.
“When a company decides they are ready to create a concrete training plan that becomes the guide by which their culture lives and works, they can expect obvious and tangible results,” says Low.
Regardless of the economy’s state, this type of training and development mind-set is a must-have for organizations that wish to remain viable amid rampant change.