Any investment you put into your talent could go to your competitor when people move on. That fear of lost investment often creates a reluctance to train your own employees. “You get into this paradox of ‘I can’t find the talent I’m looking for, yet I don’t want to risk investing training into that talent to develop them because they might end up going to our competitor,’” explained Mark Bennett, Product strategy director for Oracle Fusion Network at Work and Oracle Fusion Profile management That fear is holding many managers back, said Bennett during our discussion at the Enterprise 2.0 conference. The companies that move past that simply learn to manage the risk, Bennett. You have to take risks to get benefits. Invest a little, see how it works. If good, invest a little more. Here are some techniques Bennett recommends:
- Invest a little at a time: Instead of making all your investment into one individual at one time, make a smaller investment and see how they respond in terms of improved response and engagement.
- Share the risk: Have that person invest additional time to show that they’re committed.
- Deliver benefits on performance: Give the employee the necessary training, but don’t give them a raise until they can demonstrate that they can take on new responsibilities.
Prospective employees will soon learn how your company invests in your employees. That improves your brand and shows that your you're committed to them. But don’t open the door wide and just say, “Come on in and we’ll train you.” You don't want people to abuse your efforts as a one-way exchange.