While networking, I asked an HR professional of a mid-sized company (150 employees) when would she hire a communications expert like me to come and train her employees. She told me she never has because there's no budget. Then she added that all training budgets were for technical training and only the C-suite folks do retreats, team building and leadership development.
So I asked her, what would happen if there was a huge turnover rate because people just weren't getting along or feeling heard?
She replied that although this has happened in some departments with some managers with poor communication skills, the leaders believed that their profits were not dependent on people getting along as much as the sales made.
Then I asked what she thought of that approach. At this point, the dam sort of burst.
She had plenty to say about how hard it was to replace employees who left for a better work environment. The number one reason that people left (she believed) is that they didn't feel heard or respected. She said that the industry is small and word gets around. (Although I didn't mention it, I'm sure this belief would impact the way she does interviews too.)
I asked her if she ever shared her thoughts with her bosses. She answered that she didn't feel comfortable enough to question their decisions.
Then I asked her, "If someone is having difficulty dealing with a boss, where do they go to get some assistance?" Apparently, the HR folks, including herself, are the ones expected to resolve interpersonal conflict.
Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.
Which is worse? Training them and they leave, or not training them and they stay?
Points to consider
1- Enhanced Communication
Increasing communication skills to improve collaboration can assist an organization to become more effective as well as successful. When your employees and leaders are getting along with each other, there are fewer misunderstandings, so, workplace frustration also becomes reduced.
For managers and supervisors, confident communication is a key leadership skill which makes it possible to communicate their ideas and expectations more clearly.
2- Improved Profit Potential
Building a business, managing people, conveying new ideas, and reducing the operating costs all require healthy exchanges and communication.
Those qualities impact employee and customer satisfaction, as well as retention. Not to mention that the company image and employee productivity will improve.
Working in collaborative teams also means that the company's profit potential stands to rise. When people get along, projects finish in a more timely manner with less waste of resources.
3- Employee Development
When you provide this type of training, you may discover valuable people who may have had a problem in communicating their true talents.
Improved communication places your organization in a better position to address future challenges, as well as capitalize on the talent that is already available within the firm.
When you pass over employees within the company for projects or promotions because they don't have the right communication skills, the costs tend to increase, as you have to spend more on recruitment as well as training new hires.
Not investing in our employees' growth is like ignoring our spouse and assuming they like us.
4- Assist in Anchoring How Communication Occurs
In business, interpersonal skills are very important. During times of conflict, another employee can deliberately, or easily misinterpret what their colleague intended to say.
Language is considered to be one of the most powerful reflections of what people think and feel about the work they are doing, as well as the feelings they harbor towards their colleagues.
Bringing in a qualified trainer helps in making a big impact, as they offer an unbiased view and can assist in changing the language or approaches used when in disagreement. In doing so, it helps them improve their communication skills significantly.
It is possible for an employee to change the direction that a discussion is taking by altering their attitude. Increasing our self-awareness and understanding of what makes us tick while communicating, this type of training can help you to consciously choose a more productive stance when in disagreement.
From all these points, it is safe to say that there is a lot to be gained by businesses by hiring an experienced communications trainer for their organization.
If the leaders are all transactional business people, who may have a difficult time expressing value to other people for their ideas and personalities, only keeping an eye on sales, eventually, they will not be able to compete against great workplaces.
I know I'm biased. But visioning without developing their leaders' communication skills for a great work environment is not sustainable in the long term.
What do you think? Does investing in training pay off in the long run?
The most successful leaders are not infallible when faced with someone who "drives them crazy!" Monique Caissie's corporate keynote or training called "CAN'T WE JUST GET ALONG?: How To Go From Conflict To Collaboration" is appreciated by all who would like more control over their professional and personal lives. Monique draws from 30 years of crisis intervention work to help others increase their confidence to feel more heard, respected and happier. Check out her website for free resources.
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