Insider Intelligence: How to Excel at You!

March 20, 2012
Find time for training before it's too late

How seriously do you take your personal improvement program? Does your company have an education plan that focuses on constantly improving the skill sets of the most important company asset of all— human capital?

If your answer is: I think we have an education program, or I am not sure, or we have one but it does not concern me, you and your company have a problem.

The existing knowledge base you currently possess hopefully works for you and your company today but what about tomorrow? Are you keeping up with security technology and the latest tax laws? How about new HR regulations? Are you certified or do you claim to be the "school of hard knocks" certified?

Smart business executives know that knowledge is power. They also know that knowledge can translate to success if you have the right training on how to run your business. Top leaders know there is no success without knowledge.

I am proud that PSA has a formal education program that every employee participates in. To show our commitment we require everyone to participate, no exceptions. Of course the first person who benefits from our education program is the individual participating in the program and this is the way it should be.

Our process is surprisingly simple. Each employee meets with their supervisor and is asked to identify a personal area or subject that she or he feels they need improvement on. Manager and employee then work together to find a ‘win-win’ personal education plan. The plan is then presented to our director of education to ensure all the loose ends are coordinated and the plan meets our requirements.

Training doesn’t require dedicated staff

You do not need a full-time director of education to implement a formal training program. All you need is a desire to get better using the best education tools and three willing participants—student, teacher and supervisor.

I also suggest an annual program that tracks and monitors progress quarterly. This will allow you to work with the employee and the educator to make any changes felt necessary and gives you some necessary guidelines and goals.

PSA-TEC (scheduled for May 14 through 18 in Westminster, Colo.) along with PSA’s ongoing programs, are one of many venues for education that you can take advantage of to economically increase the knowledge and professionalism of your employees and consequently your company. Other conferences and organizations that have education include ISC, ASIS, BICSI, NSCA and ESX.

The most disturbing excuse I hear for not participating in ongoing education is: I am so busy, I do not have time. Of course if this attitude is accepted in your company you and your buddies will soon have plenty of time as your services will no longer be in demand when you fall behind your competitors. So it’s not about time, it’s about a critical necessity.

These simple tasks will get you on the road to a successful education program:

1. Make the commitment

2. Get management buy in

3. Formalize a plan

4. Get buy-in from all employees

5. Get started—make something happen