If you are working in a company that has decided not to lay off massive amounts of their employees, but rather keep the company together during these slow economic times, I urge you to start training employees now, to be ready for when things pick up.
Now is a perfect time to get compliance training completed for your fiscal year, or boost product knowledge and sales skills. Technology is advancing rapidly, but when was the last time you challenged people to improve their skills in your different operating systems? If customer traffic is slowing, then this is a great time to train customer service skills and renew your service standards. And my personal favorite is the building of interpersonal communication skills, and the development of supervisors, managers and leaders.
Yet very little training of any kind is going on right now. When employees are not engaged with work because of a slowing in production, it is the perfect time to engage them in personal development. If you have decided to keep these valuable assets, then take this opportunity to build skills in them.
When things pick up, these same employees will not have the time to spend in training. Yet, imagine a workforce that has spent time in development before returning to increased production levels. Think of what a better trained employee base could do for profits?
When a client of mine recently wanted to postpone training until next year because the company was slowing down I asked if they were planning to lay off employees. The answer was no. I said; well then why not use this time to build their skills for when it gets busy since you feel they are so valuable to your operations? It was an amazing turnaround! They even admitted that they were using the economy as an excuse not to train, when in fact it should be an excuse to train.
So how about your company? Are you using this time to build skills, or to let them go stale? Reply with a comment, and let’s see what’s happening in your corner of the world!