What's the point of training?
Lately training and education, or rather the lack of it, has become a recurring theme for a huge percentage of the job seekers I meet. Typically, candidates bemoan the fact that training promised at the point of job offer never materialises or that their company doesn't even appear to have any formalised education and training policy in place. As a result, they reach the limit of their learning and growth cycle within a year or two. What this means is that without any incentive to improve upon what they know, they start to look elsewhere.
Surely it's a good thing and a definite benefit to employers to have people working for them who want to learn, acquire new skills and grow within the organisation. It can only add value. However, it does seem that training and education is in some quarters viewed with mild suspicion, and that people will surely move on to pastures new the minute they are qualified. In others, when budgets are tight, investment in training does seem to be the first thing that's axed to cut costs.
Both are extremely short-sighted views in my opinion and, actually, training doesn't always have to be about spending an inordinate amount of money on external, accredited courses. It could be as simple as ensuring that every employee has the chance to participate in an internally structured skills and knowledge sharing scheme. This would mean that people who have specific skills in your team could take a turn at being teacher and pupil and that, apart from understanding how everyone else fits into the organisation, some of what they know rubs off as well and can be put to good use in the wider team.
Bright people always need headroom to grow and develop and if this is denied, then they do tend to move on rather than sit around and stagnate. Let's face it, finding good people is difficult enough - and costly - but hanging on to them can be a lot harder if their personal and professional development is systematically ignored.