Blog and Ideas
April 18, 2012
By Jorge Chávez

Business Training: Expense or Investment?

Investment in human capital is one of the best ways to increase productivity of both businesses and society.

Business Training: Expense or Investment?

“You have to kiss many frogs to find a prince, but remember that one prince can pay for a lot of frogs” -Art Fry, inventor engineer of 3M Post-it.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make in times of crisis is budget cutbacks in staff trainingInvestment in human capital is one of the best ways to increase productivity of both businesses and society.

The multinational company Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, better known as 3M (creator of brands such as scotch® and post-it ®), currently invests 7% of their annual sales in research and development, more than 5 billion dollars over the past 5 years. In addition to employing more than 7 000 researchers, 3M holds the greatest number of patents in the world.

Innovation is the fuel that keeps the engine running at 3M, with a mission of offering solutions to the problems of clients and customers in any industry or market. With this policy, and from only 38 basic technologies, 3M has managed to keep its more than 52 000 products and brands on the market. Many of these products are now considered essential.

According to the site, investment in training brings great benefits to staff and the company. For example, employees who increased their knowledge or skill in specific areas, achieved their individual goals more easily, making better decisions and solving problems better and are prepared to perform more complex tasks.

For the company, training its human resources contributes to the formation of leaders and community leaders, enhancing communication between employees and increasing their profitability.

As a restaurant owner, what could you do to train your staff without the huge investment currently being undertaken by 3M? We live in a city which mostly lives off foreign tourism so perhaps implement an “English Day” a few times a week, encouraging your staff to further develop their communication effectively with customers. Regarding the kitchen, why not implement a few hours that your chefs are free to explore and create innovative dishes? New flavors = New customers for your business.

However, training does not work miracles and does not solve all the problems that an organization might have. Training is part of a process that requires diagnosis and proper planning as well as alignment with the needs and values ‹of a company. It must be conducted by trained personnel and must be thoroughly assessed.

If training is successful, the investment returns can be seen in the short and long term. And in the long term, the company will get more benefits if it can concentrate the knowledge gained by its employees and manage it properly.

Jorge Chavez is a Senior Editor Mijo! Brands of Mexico.

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