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CEOs

Grow Your Employees Like You Grow Your Business

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Middle Market CEOs face a common conundrum: How do you develop employee skills with limited resources? Many fast growing companies don’t have the budget for training, and even fewer have organizational structures to support it. How do you develop your people when your business hasn’t yet grown to the point where you can further invest in staff?  The answer is simple. You have to approach training the same way you approach growing your business– strategically.  Here’s what works:

Identify Pain Points

Don’t approach training by haphazardly designating someone to “go get some training tools.” You will likely end up with off-the-shelf, generalist focused products that are costly with potentially little results to show for the investment. Instead, strategically identify which skills gaps are causing your firm the most pain. Are your competitors better at sales? Do you have manufacturing inefficiencies? Are workers’ compensation costs rising?

Develop the Best Solution

Think in terms of solutions, rather than focusing on the problem. For example, if your pain point is a high accident rate, focused training on safety best practices can cover a lot of ground. If your salespeople could benefit from some “polishing”, hire a sales coach to come work on their presentation skills. If your problem is getting new hires on-boarded quickly, assign internal mentors to ensure knowledge transfer happens and hold them accountable to do so.

Measure Results

Accidents down? Sales conversion rates up? New hires making an impact sooner? Measuring and evaluating your results is the best way to make sure your training dollars are well spent. When you identify another emerging pain point, it’s time to “lather, rinse, and repeat”!

For Middle Market CEOs, staff training and development works best when it’s strategic, focused on the pain points and results are measured. One of our clients needed to improve manufacturing productivity.  Before they made a $10 million engineering investment in an existing plant, we placed a Lean Rapid Continuous Improvement consultant with the firm. He demonstrated how lean manufacturing processes work and then guided them on execution so that the plant investment was maximized for the highest ROI.

Stop spending unnecessary time and money trying to decide which off-the-shelf training method or product will work. Start identifying your pain points, focus training efforts on them and then measure your results. When you do that, training takes care of itself with a much higher ROI.

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