January 2018 Motivate On The Cover

Investing in Your People

Written By: John Spence

I have just returned from the Thinkers50 2017 Gala Awards in London, a gathering of the top business and management thinkers in the world. During the event, we had a full day to listen to the most respected management thinkers in the world share their ideas about what they saw as the major trends impacting businesses across the globe.

There was a lot of talk about technological disruption, strategy and leadership, but the one topic that nearly every expert touched on was: people.

My friend Tom Peters a best-selling author, considered to be the original management guru – won the Lifetime Achievement Award and, in his speech, literally begged the audience to please never use the word talent again. He went on to say that, Companies don’t develop products people do. Companies aren’t innovative people are. Companies don’t have great customer relationships people do. “Everything in your business depends on people.”

If you believe Tom, and I hope you do because he is 1,000 percent right, then there is absolutely no excuse for not investing time, energy and money in helping your people to continuously learn, grow and improve.

Frankly, I believe this is the single most important investment you can make in your company, because without highly talented people who are steadily getting better and better, you have no chance of making your company better and better. I also write above that there is, no excuse because never in the history of humankind has there been more information available, much of it for free, to assist you in delivering world-class training to your people.

Here are just a few of the things that you should be doing in order to ensure that you’re keeping your people in mind:

•Create a formal mentoring program

•Develop a formal development plan for each employee

•Create an internal training department

•Invest in training classes taught by qualified outside instructors

•Develop a cross training program

•Benchmark your training efforts against leading companies

•Buy a copy of a topical business book for each of your employees

•Create a lending library of top business books and training CDs

•Get your employees a membership to an audiobook service

•Get your employees a membership to a book summary service

•Bring in outside experts for a lunch and learn

•Take your employees to visit other companies

•Send out a newsletter with good information for your employees

•Send out a list of top podcasts, Ted talks and YouTube videos they should be listening to

•Send them a list of the best business blogs and magazines they should be reading

•Send them to a training class at the University of Florida or Santa Fe College

•Invest in online/virtual training for your employees

•Take your employees to a major training seminar by an expert

•Take your employees to an industry event

•Hold annual or semiannual company training conferences

•Invite the CEO of a successful company in town to come and talk to your people

•Set up a Skype call with an expert who will share their knowledge with your team

•Establish an award for the employee who reads the most business books each year

•Establish an award for the employee who attends the most training each year

•Establish an award for employees who offer to train other employees

These are just a few things that I came up with off the top of my head, I’m sure there are several more you could add to this list. But here is my point: if you are not doing all or most of this then you’re not truly serious about helping your people, and your company, to be as successful as possible. A good deal of what I have listed is absolutely free, much of it is very inexpensive and only a few things require significant financial investment. But I can tell you this, not doing the things on this list will cost you much, much more.


JOHN SPENCE has been recognized as one of the top 100 business thought leaders and as one of the top 500 leadership development experts in the world. He is an international keynote speaker and management consultant and has written five books on business and life success. www.johnspence.com

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