Training and Competitive Edge

We have heard executive complain when an employee they put through external training left the company to pursue a better-paying job somewhere else. Our question has always been “Why didn’t you take care of your investment?” Training employees is an investment of time and money in much the same way as tilling and seeding the land is an investment. How do we grow our companies if don’t improve the productiveness of the seed bed.

We would also note that a trained employee is no longer fungible—we can’t just replace our investment with somebody else. We have created a unique portion of our competitive edge by developing an employee who already knows our systems into somebody who now has the knowledge to move our organization to higher levels of achievement.

Both of us are well-certified in many areas of interest. We feel that the training and research involved in the certification exams helps us provide better and more informed service to our clients. Some training programs don’t have associated certifications and these are also of value; for example, Michael Anleitner (The Power of Deduction: Failure Modes and Effects Analysis for Design, Quality Press, 2010) has provided training for years in an approach to FMEA that takes it out of the subjective realm and converts it into a power tool for elimination of product and process problems.

The bottom line is the bottom line. Invest wisely in training, take care of your assets, and reap the rewards of an enlightened work force.

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