Profits suffer in good times and bad when human-resources training is a victim in budgeting. Along with marketing and layoffs, training is one important area where a lot of companies mistakenly cut back.

Employees should be treated as assets.

One of the reasons given for training cutbacks, in my experience, is that senior executives fear a poor return on their investment. CEOs naturally object to the training because they want to profit from their investments.

Another reason is that senior executives don’t have an astute vision for treating employees well — as valued associates in their human capital. On the contrary, managers owe it to the organization to help employees to grow professionally.

Ironically, a strong training program will synergize well with marketing and sales to increase profits.

Most often in successful HR training programs, companies concentrate on three areas:

– Preparation

– Training classes and workshops with a self-awareness training module

– Follow up

Unfortunately, managers mistakenly spend too little time on experiential learning and revisiting training material. That means their employees forget most of what they learn, and the training doesn’t yield a return on investment.

Without the anticipated ROI, the training becomes a waste of time and money — business performance isn’t maximized.

Further, depending on the subject, it’s best to consider one-hour classes once or twice a week for four to six weeks. Employees need time to hear, digest and implement the information.

And time needs to be allotted to check to see if the employees are absorbing and implementing the training material.

Train managers first

For the strongest-possible ROI, start by training the managers so they’re in sync with their workers and they can later reinforce the training material with their employees. This really helps the ROI.

In the second or third session for management and staff, courses should include a module inviting students to conduct a confidential, personal self-assessment of their strengths and weaknesses for greater self awareness.

After the organization’s employees have stronger self esteem from a self-awareness training module, there is a direct correlation with the bottom line.

That’s for any subject such as training in customer service, time management, teamwork, management, or leadership skills.

With skilled trainers in self-awareness training, you’ll find the benefits are astounding:

— Employees gain more confidence because they learn about their own strengths and talents.

— For the majority, self-awareness training grooms each person’s self esteem to grow 30 percent.

— This also lessens the need for follow-up because employees are more self-motivated and productive.

After the organization’s employees have stronger self esteem from a self-awareness training module, there is a direct correlation with the bottom line. An excellent training program will enhance the marketing investment and greater profits are easier to attain.

Typical problems

Incidentally, a few employees – about 10 percent –resist conducting their self assessments – even when it’s confidential. These are toxic employees who commonly disrupt team communication and morale.

Unfortunately, many ultimately need help from the organization’s employee assistance program often as a result of alcoholism or drug addiction. (Typically, alcoholics are more likely to have a conscience and are easier to train than drug addicts.)

Another obstacle to training success: Tepid support from senior management.

So remember, if you use these measures, your training programs will yield strong results.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are additional HR resources:

Management: Coach Your Employees to Better Performance – In talent management, coaching, counseling and giving feedback is of utmost importance. But it’s a difficult challenge if you don’t have a coaching culture.

Trends in Human Resources Management – Wharton Study — HR is being accorded higher regard as a profession, according to a Wharton study of Fortune 100 companies.

Power Your Brand with Employee Empowerment  — Are you investing in marketing, but not getting the anticipated return on your investment? One of the reasons might be a lack of employee empowerment.

12 Errors to Avoid in Evaluations — How should you properly evaluate employees? Make sure you are careful to avoid errors in evaluations. Naturally, you want to praise good performance and discourage bad.

13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism — Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem. Check your attendance records. Monday is the most-abused day of the week and January is the worst month for absenteeism.

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”

-Mark Van Doren

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.