I just got off the phone with a prospective client. They have serious employee and management retention issues. They have few managers with the right skills to be effective managers, let alone develop into effective leaders, they have a multitude of staff with less-than-effective front-line customer service skills, they are in an industry that is growing by leaps and bounds, and their reputation for less-than-stellar service is starting to spread.
So why are they calling my office? They've used a series of trainers with no continuity between programs, no effective reinforcement of training concepts, and less-than-effective programming. This training is mandatory for all supervisors and managers and it's not been effective. Senior management's not happy. I don’t blame them.
However, when I raised the issue of funding a revamped training and management performance program to address their needs, I was told, “We’ll probably be able to find some money but we've already spent a lot of money on this.” Excuse me, but were you expecting my company to provide these services free?
Well, Liz being Liz, I had to ask, “Just out of curiosity, what do you think your company spends annually on the flowers you put on the dining room tables each night?” “Oh geeze -- a lot!” was the answer. I replied, “What do you think is more important to the long-term profitability of your organization: pretty table flowers or a well-trained management team?”"
I only share this story with you so you can ask yourself a similar question:
When it comes to investing in your business what makes more sense: investing in your employees to ensure they are better able to serve your customers now and into the future or investing in “flowers” your customers may not even notice?