Not developing our people is costly

In my three decades in the workplace, it’s interesting that most companies don’t pay enough attention to developing their people.

They would even look at it as a cost or expense. In times of financial difficulties, the first budget cut is training. That’s assuming there even is a training budget, to begin with.

The world is evolving so fast that we need to transform our organizations constantly. It means that new skills or upgrading of skills are required. We want to be competitive, yet we don’t invest in our people. How is that even possible?

We claim that our people are our most valuable asset, yet we don’t grow our most valuable asset. We expect them to become better at their work. We expect over and above performance. How is that possible without adequately planned and executed development strategies?

Would you expect your child to be good at a skill without someone teaching him? Would you expect your son to be good at playing the piano but not invest in honing his skills? I should hope not. Would you say, ‘here is a piano, son, learn it? Oh, by the way, I expect you to be the next Piano genius in the country.’

As our economies recover, the more aggressive companies are positioning themselves to be able to capture a more significant cut of the pie. They invest in their people’s ability to sell, provide fantastic customer service, effectively manage projects, and turn out great marketing content.

It’s a great time to grab market share from the slower players. We cannot do that without people. We cannot do that if we don’t develop our people to a higher competency.

Google, Apple, Rustans, Citibank, and other significant players know the importance of people and the criticality of developing them. That’s one of the reasons these companies can outperform their competition. They invest in their most valuable assets. The operative word is ‘invest.’ They don’t spend; they invest.

Companies cannot provide excellent customer service, products, and customer experience with a mediocre workforce. After all, behind these are people.

Our most important asset is our people. Invest in them, and the investment will return with great dividends.

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