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The Cost of (not) Training

April 30, 2011

One thing worse than training employees and losing them is not training them and keeping them.- Zig Ziglar

In a dynamically changing world where one has to be alert & learning all the time, a skill set gap can mean stagnation in terms of career path, monetary gains & opportunities too. While it is critical for the employers to invest in employee training to maintain efficiency, competence & competitive edge , It is equally of even more important for an employee to keep training themselvs.

Most often, an employer can find a better skilled replacement ( this has a cost, of course) instead of training existing employees. But, what does the bypassed employee do ?

Actually who pays the price if an employee is not trained enough for the job ?

  • Is the onus for training always on the employer only ?
  • And who should pay for training ?
  • who loses if an employee is not trained ?
  • Are we moving towards a employee initiated training scenario ?
  • How can we build a culture of continuous learning ?
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  1. Satish Kumar Putta
    May 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    There is a very good book released last year titled THE POWER OF PULL (by John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison). I would like to use an idea mentioned there to answer a part of your question.

    (Of course, I am only para-phrasing). Whatever training / knowledge that you may possess (or intend to acquire), remember that there is always a limited shelf life with the present level of change in the world. This you already know. So what is the solution ? We should rely not on “stocks” of knowledge but we should be in the “flow” of knowledge. Having a CA degree coupled with an international MBA program is like a “stock”. Tacit knowledge such as patents is also a stock. It is ‘know-how’. Then what is flow ? Being part of ‘web of conversations’ and ‘knowledge sharing’, either within the organization or outside, is being part of the “flow’. If Stock is know-how, Flow is ‘know-what’.

    How do you build the flow ? Begin by sharing relatively low value knowledge as a way of learning who offers valuable knowledge in return. And then, there are many strategies to build it up to very dynamic levels of knowldge sharing. (Not scope of what we are discussing here).

    Then you will find that ‘Flows’ will refresh ‘Stocks’. Else stocks by themselves will keep getting depleted. [The reason you find people of specific knowledge groups ‘clustering’ in specific places, is to enhance this ‘flow’].

    Once we understand this paradigm clearly, it is easier to make decisions on training – what to train, whom to train, how to rollout training and how to benefit from training.

    • May 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      @Satish – Thanks for your comment. More often than not, i have felt that it is a question of initiative itself, & also about who should take that initiative? I have found even senior level employees feeling that training is something that the organisation should provide. As you point out, it is more about learning ( and sharing that learning) than teaching ( which most training programs turn out to be. Once the focus is on learning,a person is more receptive and the sharing part follows more naturally (how to build the flow).

  1. July 11, 2011 at 8:13 am
  2. June 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm
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