Refuse to Be Average Part 1.5

July 5, 2005

Extra thoughts on:
A Business Owner's Guide to Contractor Education

By: John Zink

Salaries and bonus dollars are the simple hammers of your human resources toolbox. While money can be a very effective tool, its ability to motivate people drops the more it is used and it cannot fix every problem.

Sending an employee to educational programs says that you are willing to make an investment in that person. You are giving them skills that will make them more valuable for the rest of their career. Quality employees can recognize a good thing and will appreciate the opportunities they are getting more than a few extra dollars in the wallet and a pat on the head.

A larger company with set standard operating procedures may offer employees few opportunities to differentiate themselves from their co-workers. Training offers workers an opportunity to gain new skill sets that make them unique. New ideas they are exposed to at educational sessions may help them to suggest beneficial changes at the company. Being a trendsetter who suggests improvements and offers solutions makes an employee stand out and boosts their chance to advance in the company--even if the solutions were just taken from the seminar they attended last week.

In smaller companies, there can be very limited room for advancement and promotion. Why should an excellent foreman who is interested in advancement stick around if all the management seats are filled with the owner’s sons? Sending that foreman to regular training programs may help to satisfy his desire to grow his skills while keeping him on the job for you.

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