I recently received a request from a social-networking site to discuss the complications companies encounter in locating well-rounded employees. In this post, I want to address the underlying problem, which is the lack of comprehensive training for production employees.
The most effective training systems provide the employees with (1) the information and skills to work and make effective decisions in their job and (2) prepare them for new challenges and advancement opportunities.
Regarding the second goal, it is critical that you prepare your employees for professional growth and advancement. Once you train your employees enough to become competent and capable at their job, additional training should then be made available. Although some employees are content in their job, do not assume that your workforce is content to remain in the same job doing the same thing until the end of time. The best scenario is to have a cue of overqualified employees waiting for advancement. If a job is not currently available, many employers will offer them the opportunity to fill in (typically with the corresponding pay differential) when a higher job function calls in sick, goes on vacation, or takes an extended leave.
Change is can be either slow and gradual, or quick and unexpected. Comprehensive employee training combined with effective advancement training will help you prepare your business for change, new markets, growth, and even downsizing.