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  • Jerry Phillips

Is Your Company Engaged?

There are several surveys on engagement and how it attracts top talent and retains top talent. Most of the surveys measure if employees are engaged with the company. But what if the measurement was engagement of the company with the employee? How would your company rate?

I was fortunate to work with Black & Decker early in my career. Fortune magazine rated B&D as one of the top 100 companies regarding training. I can’t speak to other companies in the top 100, but the training I received at Black & Decker was exceptional. The curriculum was not just training on tools, but on leadership, management, selling skills, and how to be professional. The instructors were outstanding and well trained. We all had individual plans on how to grow personally, and in the business acumen.

I didn’t appreciate the training then, as much as I do now. I have worked with multiple companies over the past 15 years, and most do not have the commitment to training that I’ve experienced in my career. Training sessions, when I founded our company, was much different than today. Fifteen years ago, companies committed two or three days to training. Today, most training is online and if there is training in person, it may be a video conference for one hour. Most first line managers are not trained, but put in the role and it’s sink or swim. Rarely are there individual development plans that are monitored and driven. I believe both of those items are tied together. I’m not complaining, I’m just sharing what I’m seeing. Are you seeing it differently?

I understand the need to hold costs down. It is expensive to dedicate time to training a team, not only in trainer fees, but in travel costs, and time away from their selling role. I also realize that the pandemic is limiting meeting size and travel. This trend began well before the pandemic. Do you see training as an expense, or do you see it as an investment?

Reversing this trend and investing in your team allows you to attract, develop, and retain top talent. Top talent is much more productive in their abilities than the death spiral of hiring “C” players. If you can’t afford to hire Rock Stars, hire talent you can afford and develop them into Rock Stars. It’s a different mentality, but it can be effective and a strong rate of return on your investment. Is your company engaged with your associates?

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