What do fitness bootcamps and Tony Robbins-esque motivational weekends both have in common? Besides, of course, the fact that both give you a metaphorical high – leaving you eager and enthusiastic to change yourself – it’s the fact that their effects can quickly wear off. Kind of like the luster of our New Year’s resolutions, which are lucky to survive all thirty-one days of January. (P.S. – Only 8% of resolutions are kept.)
Look, it’s not anyone’s fault, it’s something endemic with to the human species. If we don’t make things a regular practice, they’re bound to fade to the recesses of our minds behind other seemingly more pressing priorities. And this is despite the fact that we know something might be good for us.
The same goes for trying to change aspects of your company for the better—whether it’s communication, teamwork, or leadership. We work with clients on professional development on a regular basis, creating custom tailored training programs, and can help companies make some dramatic changes and come to significant realizations in a short period of time. And this is something we take great pride in – and we also laud our clients for being open to this transformative process.
However, this is only part of the equation. We find that those companies who truly commit to regular development, or “maintenance” if you will, are the ones that succeed at transforming themselves and their organization successfully. Some of our program designers have ongoing relationships with clients who have truly embraced the idea of ongoing professional development.
One of the misconceptions around this commitment is that it takes too much time – but the truth is, it doesn’t have to. Simply dedicating an hour or two a month to professional development with your team can pay massive dividends (something as simple as a partner communication exercise or group activity). Moreover, it can truly lead to a cultural shift within an organization. And what progressive company doesn’t want development as a cultural priority?
Not only are there the efficiency gains associated with investing time in professional development, but this also creates a better environment for both employees and managers. There’s a correlation between companies being ranked as a “best place to work” and regularly investing in training. According to China Gorman, CEO of Great Place to Work, “One of the most staggering statistics we found is that the 100 best companies offer nearly double the hours of on-the-job training to full-time, salaried employees as companies not on the list.” There’s a high probability that this also results in lowered turnover rates, which saves a company money in the long run.
So the next time you come across an interesting article or book that might be relevant to your employees’ development, pull them aside for a brief conversation. Get opinions. Engage folks. Look into fun team building activities you can do over lunch. Watch a relevant TED Talk together and discuss. Experiment. We can assure you your commitment to ongoing development of your team will be manifold.
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