If there is one thing I am seeing about the future of business it’s this: It’s about now!
And for many of us that own our own business we’ve gotten the memo:what value do we add to the client’s life – today? That’s what we know drives business. We need to deliver immediate value.
For those with jobs – the old 9 to 5 – the message may be less clear. But I’ve been working with companies on training, speaking to corporate audience and speaking at conferences and conventions and one theme keeps emerging.
Everyone wants results and they want them NOW. For reasons we’ll explore in this article the focus on now has become very very strong.
I hope by focusing in on this growing economic trend it’ll enable you to make better business and career decisions and position yourself for success as we move to the future of business.
“Investing” In Others Is Out
All of this starts from the premise that investing in others is out of style. Entire software solutions have emerged where companies test coders before they start work. Potential bosses worry about how to test skills of new employees not how to find the right people to develop. And as Tom Winter points out more and more employers want to see skills in use.
While the hiring market has a long tradition of focusing on the skills of new hires, the level of focus on applied skills – being able to do a specific thing now – seems to be increasing.
One training industry report found that companies spent 6.4% less on training in 2018 than 2017. The same report also found the amount per learner, for the same companies, was down almost 10%.
It’s drastic to see the shift in spending on training and development is happening so quickly. More and more professionals that I know, even with full time jobs, are arranging and paying for their own training. The employers simply aren’t doing it in many cases.
We Are Lacking Trust
Why is this happening? For one thing there is a lack of trust. It seems that we don’t trust that if we invest in our employees they will stay with us.
All you need to do is Google “why invest in employees” and you’ll find thousands of articles, written primarily by training companies, telling employers to keep investing in training employees.
Why are so many training companies so urgently reminding their clients of their client’s needs to train employees?
If I had to guess it is because the typical company is not trusting the employee to stick around long enough for the training to be cost beneficial.
Everyone Is Moving Fast
According to the US government the average employee stays in their job for about 4.2 years. While that number has been stable in recent years it is way down from historical numbers. And we can see younger workers tend to stay at jobs for shorter periods than older workers.
And the government statistics also don’t factor in the “gig” economy. More and more workers are working on a project basis as contractors, not employees. The contractor sector of the economy rarely gets trained by their employer.
Even with an average employee tenure of 4.2 years any training and development purchased must give immediate positive impact.
We Really Can’t Count On The Future
Blockbuster, Kodak and Sears are names most people know. All once industry leaders. All virtually irrelevant in today’s marketplace.
Things are changing fast. How quickly did Facebook and cell phones become ubiquitous? Within about a decade for each.
The message is clear. Don’t count on the future. It is changing and the average employer isn’t in the business of investing in the future. Why invest in something uncertain? Take results now!
Traditions Are Changing
And the views on jobs and careers are changing too. Today’s workers know they will be changing jobs – and even careers – throughout their lives.
And employers know that more and more of their employees are bringing the attitude of change to the workforce.
And with employers expecting employees to bolt and training expenditures down it is clear who is responsible for training employees in the future of business: the employees themselves!
What We Should Be Doing
We should all be developing ourselves. It is not the time to count on your employer to develop you.
Yes, if you are an employer I’ll join the crowd that says you should train your employees. You should and it can pay dividends. That’s a subject for another article.
But for now each of us, whether a business owner, a business leader or an employee, should be thinking about our own training and development.
Odds are your employer doesn’t trust you enough to train you despite what they say.
How are you preparing yourself to hit the ground running and deliver value? What are you doing to make sure you’ll be adding value for your entire career?
I would love to see you comments below on your training and development.
By: The Our Shawn McBride who is constantly studying the Future of Business as the host of The Future Done Right(TM) Show. If you want regular content on the future of business subscribe to get new blog posts from us here.
One of my recurring themes on Medium.com is looking at what words mean. Here are some prior articles on the subject:
And for some completely different topic from me check out Why I’ve Given Up On Work-Life Balance.
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