When I first became a manager, I had mixed feelings about training. My personal experience with training programs at companies where I had worked was underwhelming. Then I read chapter 16 of Andy Grove’s management classic, High Output Management, titled Why Training Is the Boss’s Job, and it changed my career.
There are four reasons you should train your people:
1. Productivity. Andy Grove demonstrates that training is one of the highest leverage activities a manager can perform. Consider putting on four lectures for 10 people, which take a total of 12 hours work. Next year those 10 people will work a total of 20,000 hours. If your training results in a 1% improvement, you will gain the equivalent of 200 hours of work.
2. Performance management. If you don’t train your people, you establish no basis for performance management. If you fire someone, do you know with certainty that they both understood the expectations of the job and was still missing them?
3. Product quality. Companies neglect to train new engineers. This leads to inconsistencies in user experience, performance problems, and a general mess.
4. Employee retention. I found there were two primary reasons why people quit their jobs. They hated their manager, appalled by the lack of guidance, career development and feedback. Or they weren’t learning anything. An outstanding training program can address both issues head on.