Why Train Your People?
Properly run start-ups place a great deal of emphasis on recruiting and the interview process in order to build their talent base. Unfortunately, often the investment in people stops there. There are a few core reasons why it shouldn’t and should extent to ongoing training efforts to unlock talent:
- Productivity. A few hours of training can improve various functions that lead to improved productivity. Teaching employees to use a system, make a better presentation or understand a financial model can pay for itself in droves.
- Improve Communication. Being on the same page and speaking the same language is key to have a consistent message to customers, investors, vendors and other employees.
- Mechanism to Impart the Founder’s Knowledge. Too often, the essence of the business remains lodged in the founder’s head, making it more difficult to bring in new people or facilitate current people taking the reins on pieces of the business. Training forces this knowledge transfer to the benefit of everyone.
- Performance Management. If you don’t train your people, you establish no basis for performance management. As a result, performance management in your company will be sloppy and inconsistent.
- Quality. Often founders start companies with visions of elegant, beautiful product and services that will solve customer problems. Then, as their company grows, they find that the vision does not meet the reality. This is due in large part to the fact that as a company grows, new employees touch a product or service. As new employees perform tasks or shape the product or service, without the proper training they are left to their own devices as opposed to being trained on how the product or service is meant to be.
- Employee Retention. Employees need to be exposed to new learnings if they are going to make the sacrifice of an entrepreneurial environment. They expect companies to help them evolve and develop skills if we expect them to hang around.
Ironically, the biggest inhibitor to putting a training program in place is the perception that it will take too much time. Keep in mind that there is no investment that you can make that will do more to improve productivity in your company than a training program.