Manager's Corner: Is Leadership Training More Important Than Flowers?

Manager's Corner
Is Leadership Training More Important Than Flowers?

I just got off the phone with a prospective client. They have serious employee and management retention issues. They have few managers with the right skills to be effective managers, let alone develop into effective leaders, they have a multitude of staff with less-than-effective front-line customer service skills, they are in an industry that is growing by leaps and bounds, and their reputation for less-than-stellar service is starting to spread.
So why are they calling my office? They've used a series of trainers with no continuity between programs, no effective reinforcement of training concepts, and less-than-effective programming. This training is mandatory for all supervisors and managers and it's not been effective. Senior management's not happy. I don't blame them.
However, when I raised the issue of funding a revamped training and management performance program to address their needs, I was told, "We'll probably be able to find some money but we've already spent a lot of money on this." Excuse me, but were you expecting my company to provide these services free?
Well, Liz being Liz, I had to ask, "Just out of curiousity, what do you think your company spends annually on the flowers you put on the dining room tables each night?" "Oh geeze - a lot!" was the answer. I replied, "What do you think is more important to the long-term profitablility of your organization: pretty table flowers or a well-trained management team?"
I only share this story with you so you can ask yourself a similar question: When it comes to investing in your business what makes more sense: investing in your employees to ensure they are better able to serve your customers now and into the future or investing in "flowers" that your customers may not even notice?

Liz Weber of Weber Business Services, LLC. WBS specializes in Strategic, Business, and Succession Planning, as well as employee and leadership training. Contact: liz@wbsllc.com or 717-597-8890.