Who should be responsible for the training and growth of an employee? Ultimately… the responsibility lies with the employee. But, it also lies with several others as well. The immediate supervisor and the organization itself also have an obligation to provide opportunities and encourage an employee to grow. Can an employee grow in a non-supportive environment…absolutely…but it is much harder.

Often employees feel it is the responsibility of the organization to “train them.” If you are an employee reading this…guess again! If the organization is not willing to assist you monetarily or with time to train…do it yourself. Do it FOR yourself. Take the extra classes, go for the certification in your profession and read books in your field of expertise. After all…if you are ever downsized, a prospective employer is not going to ask where you got the training…just if you have it. Without it you are at a competitive disadvantage. Beyond protecting yourself…how else do you expect to get promoted and take that next step? Position yourself by taking the actions needed so you are the clear choice when a promotion comes. Your growth and training is a key differentiator when decisions are made. As organizations have cut back on memberships in professional societies because of tight budgets…did you reach into your own pocket so you could stay engaged in the profession or were you too cheap to pay for it yourself? Do you budget a certain amount of your own funds to get out for training or take those extra classes that will take you to the next level and keep you current? Lastly…are you reading…constantly! Are you absorbing new ideas and concepts that keep you cutting edge in your field of expertise or in business? If you answered “no” to those questions…you need to correct those deficiencies and start. Be selfish. Do it for YOURSELF!

As a boss…do you look for opportunities to expand the knowledge of your employees? This could include putting them on challenging assignments, bringing them in on projects you are working on, challenging them to think out of the box and encouraging them to increase their knowledge? If not…why not? In this day of shrinking staff’s you face the prospect of having to do more with less. You can work harder…or you can develop the capabilities of your people so you increase the capabilities of your department and accomplish more with less. Your people are the only resource you have to get the job done and they are the horses that will help YOU to pull the wagon. Be selfish…help your people grow…it’s in your self-interest. Another huge benefit of helping them grow is keeping them engaged and giving them opportunities they will not have in another organizations…thus helping you to retain them. These people will be the path to a high performance culture.

Continual training is essential to the success of an individual employee in their career…it is also instrumental in the success of any supervisor and help to drive your corporate culture and performance. The question is…are you seeking those opportunities as an employee and as a supervisor? If not…start doing it out of selfishness…do it for YOURSELF!