I found myself reading an article in Talent Management magazine about outsourcing learning, assuming incorrectly it was going to be the same dribble about the cost effectiveness and ability to use the best talent without having to hire them full-time. Although this was some of the benefits later detailed, it was the introduction about the importance of the function of learning that had me high-fiving the air. Here is the part that got me:
“When profits are squeezed, attracting and retaining customers and increasing their spending become paramount to an organization’s survival. Factor in the employees’ role, and their professional development ought not to be regarded as a perk, but as a mandated business directive.”
Imagine for a second this reality. A company in America that is struggling in a bad economy, where sales are down and profits are being squeezed. They must not only retain their existing customers, but attract new customers, all of which need to spend more money. Have you ever heard of such a company near you? Of course you have, they are everywhere!
But where I find this amazing, is how many companies in this particular fix, realize that it is their employee workforce that will need to make this happen? And for those few that do, what are they doing to the professional development right now? Yes, you got it right again; they are cutting the training function down to the bare bones!
So what happens when you find a company that views professional development as more than a perk, but a mandated business directive? What is happening now at that company that is not happening where you work? I can testify that there are some amazing things going on with companies that view the learning function as a mandated business directive, and are using both internal and external (me) resources to move the company in a different direction.
Maybe if you and your company started referring to the training department and their function in this new way, your future and the company’s future would glow a lot brighter!