This month marks my 10th year at Walker. Over that time, I have done hundreds of employee loyalty/engagement surveys on companies in a variety of industries, sizes, and parts of the world. A fairly consistent area of weakness is long-term training and development. Companies continue to ignore this problem in hopes it will go away. Unfortunately, what usually happens is the employee is the one who goes away, to a company who cares about offering long-term training and development.
Companies complain about providing new skills and abilities to their employees for fear they will be more marketable and leave. A former colleague of mine always fought that argument by telling these companies they have two choices, they can train their employees and they might leave, or they can not train their employees and they will stay, leaving you with an untrained and unmotivated workforce.
Cisco is a company that understands the importance of training and development and is willing to invest in it. This article outlines their program for giving training and development to high performers. The cost is about $10,000 per employee. However, the program has already generated ideas that could net the company billions, not a bad ROI. Also, only two of the 360 participants in the program have left the company. That is a company that understands the importance of training and development employees rather than face the alternative.