A common bit of CEO humor goes something like this: A CEO tells the CFO that they need to increase employee investment. “What happens if we spend the money to train them and they leave,” the CFO cries. “What happens if we don’t train them and they stay?” says the CEO.
Unfortunately, most organizations share the same concerns as the CFO: Talent management costs money and can have unpredictable results, so it’s best to scrap the idea altogether, right? But while it’s true that better-trained employees might search for greener pastures, they can also become major assets for the right organization. As one of the most underrated factors of employee training, talent management has the potential to increase profitability and competition in a fickle employment landscape.
Asking the Wrong Questions
What some organizations recognize as talent development might be more akin to cracking the whip than supporting a new wave of leaders. It comes down to the questions managers ask, and too often the questions asked are “Is the job done?” or “Are you meeting your deadlines,” or even, “Are you meeting my expectations?” When pelted with these types of questions, employees soon learn that managers only expect the minimum requirements to be fulfilled.
Of course, that attitude likely comes from the top down. Managers ensure employees are simply fulfilling basic requirements because they’ve learned that it’s what their supervisors want, and their supervisors have learned the attitude from organization executives: Do this and you won’t get fired. Eventually, the organization culture revolves around ticking off the necessary boxes before heading home, with little employee share in the company’s success.