Three Reasons You Can't Afford Not To!by Tiffany Crosby on 05/21/16
I get so tired of hearing non-profit leaders say they can't afford to train their people. Either they don't have the budget for training or they can't afford for their people to take the time away need to train. I sometimes wonder though, if they realize what they're actually saying.
By saying that you can't afford to train your people, you're actually saying that it's okay:
- For your people to work inefficiently. Technology changes. Less costly and less time intensive methods of functioning emerge. Often, these new methods also improve the customer experience. By not taking the time to learn these new methods, you're depriving your customers of better service. Can you really afford that in light of your mission?
- For your people to become stale. Changes in the socioeconomic, business, and legal environment are occurring on a regular basis. How do your people not only stay abreast of them but also determine how best to modify their services in light of them without adequate training? Ultimately, you run the risk of providing services that no longer meet the needs of the community or people you serve because you're working from an outdated frame of reference. Can you really afford that?
- For your organization to have gaps in succession. Far too many non-profit organizations have a gap in leadership. We're riding on a tidal wave of looming retirements and people haven't been groomed to step into the shoes of those that are vacating. There's only so much poaching that can occur, ultimately the buck has to stop somewhere. Someone is left with a critical gap. Can you really afford to be that organization left with a critical leadership gap? Aren't the people you serve with more than that?
I don't know of any non-profit mission statement that says that they plan to do good for the constituent group they serve by neglecting to invest in their own people. But that's exactly the message that you send when you feel to set aside a portion of your annual budget and calendar for staff training and development.
The reality is not only can you afford to but you can't afford not to. The people you serve depend on it. You may need to get creative on how you raise the funds necessary to cover staff training costs but your people are worth it. And, there is money available for training if you know where to look. So, put your creative wheels to work and figure out how to make it happen. You won't regret it.