Turbo-Charge Your Company

It’s amazing what a difference eighteen years can make. In the early to mid 1990’s, I was conducting training classes and selling training manuals and audio-cassette tapes to small businesses in Atlanta, Georgia. The training was in time management, personal organization, sales, communications, supervisory and leadership/management development. More often than not, I would hear from small business owners that they didn’t believe in investing in training their people. Their concerns were that they would spend the money to develop an employee and then that employee would leave and go to work for someone else. Although I would point out that their companies are only as good as the competency and caliber of their people, some chose not to make the investment.

My how times have changed. The good news is that not only are large corporations heavily training and developing their people, but now the small business sector has finally embraced the wisdom of doing so. Small business owners have finally discovered that by investing time and money into enhancing the skills of their employees, they will sell more, have satisfied, loyal customers, better leadership and management and provide a great place to work. This will, in turn, attract and retain top talent.

In 2006, the Texas Monthly published its list of “The Ten Best Companies to Work for in Texas.” Warren’s company, The Barhorst Insurance Group, was honored with being the sixth best company to work for in Texas. Warren is a huge believer in personal and professional development of himself and the members of his organization. It’s no surprise that he and his organization consistently out-perform and remain at the top of over 3,600 other Nationwide Insurance agents around the country. I have coached Warren along with several of his Leadership Team members, as well as provided training to his direct reports and Customer Service Team.

If you read about Warren’s company and the others who made it in the Top 60, you would have noticed they have at least one thing in common. Virtually all of them said they provide training, coaching, seminars, and continuing education opportunities.

Nowadays, if you want to attract and keep good people, you’ve got to have an organization that believes in and invests in the ongoing development and training of your team members, especially if you hire Generation Y’ers. In order to lure top talent, it has been common practice for a company to provide an Executive Coach in order to gain a competitive edge. The Executive Coach may work with the new hire to enhance his/her business skills, help achieve work/life balance or on any number of other areas for personal and professional growth.

In an effort to retain top performing individuals, Coaching is offered as a reward or to enhance the skills and competencies of an existing employee and of a newly promoted manager or sales professional. Coaching provides a one-on-one, tailored approach so a person is set up for success. When you provide coaching and other training to your team members, you and they will see opportunities available to them within your company. You will have provided them a career path and a reason to stay with your organization instead of leaving for greener pastures. Employees today are seeking opportunities and companies that will help them hone their skills, acquire new knowledge and abilities, and experience challenges.

If you’d rather have top-talent find you instead of you having to find and recruit them, in addition to retaining your high-caliber team members, consider creating a learning culture within your organization. Offer a variety of training and development opportunities where they will grow as individuals and in turn, help you grow your business.

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