I am always amazed that many companies that train people complain terribly and even see it as a personal insult when the trainee leaves the company after graduation.
They are often considered ungrateful, disloyal, and worse. I have never understood this.
It is a win-win situation for any company that decides to pass knowledge and skills on to apprentices. On the one hand, you have cheap labour, on the other hand, you have the opportunity to shape people.
Of course, someone who is inexperienced is always a risk, is more likely to make mistakes, and is probably slower at the beginning, but is still an asset.
I myself did my training in a travel agency and was incredibly lucky that I found this company, or it found me.
Back in September 1989, I was the first trainee at the travel agency, which opened in April of the same year. What I experienced there has stayed with me until today and has had an incredible influence on my entire professional life. All employees, no matter in which position, were always treated with appreciation and respect. It was always transparent about what the economic situation was and where the company was heading. Every employee was important and I received much more than just training there. I stayed after my training ended, a second office was opened and I was able to help shape it. I was allowed to make my mistakes and could always stand by them without being afraid. Of course, these had consequences but it was always fair and solutions were sought. To this day, I am infinitely grateful for this experience, and the owner at the time is still one of my best friends.
What makes this office so exceptional is the fact that many of the employees stayed on after their training or came back after a few years in other companies. Why? It’s very simple. They were valued there for what they were – the company’s most important resource. They were seen, heard, and recognised – always. The company culture was welcoming, transparent, and warm and every client who came there immediately felt that. This industry usually has an incredibly high turnover of staff as it doesn’t pay very well and the margins are small. The employees have always been treated well and, above all, paid well. Accordingly, they have given back. This office has always had good turnover even in times of crisis – and there have been plenty of those. There are employees in this office who have been working for 25 years or more and a former trainee has bought the travel agency in the meantime.
Why am I describing this in such detail? It is an example of how to do it right. So many companies see their apprentices as a burden, as cheap labour but less as valuable people who are or can be an asset. But when they leave after the training, and the knowledge they have learned goes with them, they suddenly realise that they have value. Unfortunately in most cases, nothing is learned from it.
This is a general problem in many companies, especially those that have a culture of fear – which is ntoo many. No one does the math on what it costs to recruit even one new employee. What it costs when knowledge leaves a company. What it costs to train a new employee, correcting their mistakes. What it costs when employees call in sick more and more often. What it costs when fear rules and no one is willing to make decisions and take responsibility.
I have worked in such companies. I will never forget the day when our vice president – I had been working in marketing for a few months – called me into his office. I was sure that this was my last day in the company. I have always allowed myself to speak my mind and address problems. Always with a solution – even if it wasn’t always necessarily a good one – which made me a little uncomfortable for one or the other. So I went into his office very nervous and what came next I didn’t expect. He got straight to the point and asked me a question. He asked me where I saw the biggest problems in the company. I was stunned. I wanted to know from him in return whether he wanted to hear my honest opinion or something flattering.
He chose the honest opinion, so I gave it to him:
1. internal communication – it is one of the biggest challenges of any company with more than two employees.
2. no one makes decisions and takes responsibility.
On the second point, he asked what I meant exactly. Since I always work with pictures, I gave him the following.
I asked him to imagine that today the decision has to be made whether we should continue to order white toilet paper from tomorrow or rather blue, yellow, or pink. That was the moment when he looked at me a bit incredulously and probably thought I had lost my mind. But then I told him that we were guaranteed to run out of toilet paper in a week at the latest because no one was prepared to make the decision. And if it was made, it was behind closed doors and the person responsible for the order was not informed at all or too late (see point 1.). And this is where shit literally hits the fan.
This is what happens when a culture of fear reigns in a company. The reason is almost always the same – lack of leadership.
We see it not only in companies. Fear as a counsellor has brought a world population to its knees and turned the majority into obedient followers and accomplices. We now have a world culture of fear and it is time to make decisions and communicate them to alleviate that fear bit by bit!
USE YOUR VOICE!
🎶My Song of the Week
Let’s be Renegades…
It’s also here on the Spotify playlist
📚My Poem of the Week
Is by Rabia of Basra (c. 717-801)
Live with dignity, women, live with dignity, men. Few things will more enhance our beauty as much.
The view from my gym – stunning!
To begin any kind of transformation, you have to know what your story is before you can navigate to something better and write a new story, becoming the best possible version of yourself. This is what the Enneagram and I can do for you. I would be happy to take the time for a speed coaching call that you can reserve right here go to my website or simply hit reply and get in touch with me directly.
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