I recently attended one of our seminars on social media marketing and, as a representative of the company and a marketing pro, asked my fellow attendees why they were attending the training. While a small number gave the inevitable, “My boss made me come” reply, a healthy number told me that it was something they wanted to do and was part of their training goals they had set for themselves.
If you’re feeling unmotivated at work, perhaps all you need is the fresh perspective learning can give you?
The number one reason employees choose to leave an organization is lack of growth opportunities, reports the Association for Talent Development. Does your organization offer training and career growth opportunities? Do you take advantage of them?
“Spending 40-60-80 hours somewhere each week … I want it to mean something. I want to feel like I’m moving forward somehow,” say Beverly Kaye and Julie Winkle Giulioni in their book Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go.
One reader of the book suggests that employee development is like eating your fruits and veggies or exercising. It takes discipline and determination to keep up with it, but the results are worth it. Ongoing career development is vital to you and your organization’s survival in a business world that’s constantly changing.
While this book is aimed at management (as an encouragement to develop employees), the message is sound for every business professional. As people travel down life’s timeline … from learning to walk and talk, going to school, attending college, getting a job … and finally retiring, there is a gap in expectations for our working years. And when expectations are lacking, we often fail to rise and meet them.
So … how can we change this?
If your company offers training and you’re not taking advantage of it, the solution is simple … just do it!
- Make a list of areas that you would like to grow in
- Talk with your boss about options for training or taking on bigger challenges
- Find the resources that can bridge skill gaps or help you explore interests
If your company doesn’t currently support your continuing career growth, what can you do for training goals?
- Open a discussion with your boss about employee education and training
- If possible, tie your specific training request to time savings, i.e., a new skill will enable you to complete certain projects faster
- Budgeting for training may also be a concern for your boss. Think about the budget planning process at your company—could you give a longer lead time, giving management time to plan for the expense?
- Also consider how your new skills might help your organization make more money
Like those handful of people at the seminar I attended, some people only think of their professional development as employer driven—the boss wants us to learn more about sexual harassment or customer service or any number of other topics. But it’s your career and nobody will want you to succeed more than yourself. If you’re stalled, bored and coasting … set training goals, learn something new and re-energize.