I've found working full-time it's been hard of late to convince employers of the value of training - that's part of the reason I've gone back into contracting.
I worked for one company that wouldn't spring for 200.00 in Teched DVD's... and it's a 8 million dollar company..
I think the point about company loyalty and stewardship of company resources is totally bogus. I worked for a top 5 bank who spent $20K worth of training on me in 2 years and didn’t bat an eye when laying me off with 17 other well trained staff members. It is my experience that company’s loyalty to employees runs thin these days. You need to be loyal to yourself and do what is best for you and your family If another opportunity arises shortly after you went to training, your company can always counter offer. It is been my experience that companies spend money on what is important to them. If you are valuable enough, they will counter offer.
I would not pay any part of classroom training my company wants to send me to. Leaving the company is a calculated risk the company takes. My compensation is money my company gives me for working their. Why would I want to give it back to them?
In addition, a company who spends $4000 on training for an employee is not a poor company that had to re-arrange a budget to secure training money. It is my experience that training money is the first to go when a budget gets tight.
I am not saying that their should be no company loyalty whatsoever, but what I am saying is that company loyalty should be secondary and taking care of yourself should be primary.
Personally, I find the hardest thing about moving on from a job is leaving your co-workers in the lurch... the feeling of guilt soon evaporates when you start getting your restful sleep back ( no more waking in the middle of the night finding that not only have you been working infront of a PC for 12 hours the previous day, but your dreams have now been taken over by the blasted things too)
"The Company" is a 2-headed beast; on one hand it can be your ultra-flexible best-friend, rewarding you with bonuses and empowering you with training privileges left, right and centre (when the market is buoyant)...On the other you will be "persuaded" to attend breakdowns on Christmas Day, threatened with written warnings if you dare refuse, laid-off at the slightest hint of a downturn in the market...
The company looks after itself, and so should we, I couldn't agree more with you Bill.
Thanks, sushila, for so aptly putting the women's veiwpoint into print! And family isn't just the hubby and the kids, it's the parents and grandparents as well (having gone thru death of a parent-in-law and grandparent this past year...).
In my company we're rapidly expanding our "traditional" role in the marketplace, bringing in new software (like SQL2005, etc), and we are expected to train ourselves in all these new products, but NOT on company time! And as so many mentioned, the training budget is pretty tight (we have better luck asking for CD-based training that asking for classes). And with the expansion comes the overload of projects, all due by the end of the year, many needing the new technologies that we can't yet support. It places us in a no-win situation.
Company loyalty and employee loyalty is an ever-flexible relationship, varying over time even within the same company. Every person will need to judge for themselves the level of loyalty they feel from their company, and the level of loyalty the feel towards the company. I think for most people the two are closely linked - the better your company treats you on all levels, the more loyalty you feel towards them, and vice versa.
I'm always amazed that no matter how many studies are done showing the people who are treated well (no matter what profession) are more productive, upper management treats each study as "new information" - wow, they never thought of that! And two months later, they've forgotten it again. (Note: I have never seen a study that indicated people who are treated like dirt perform better, either short term or long term, so how come so many managers think that works?:hehe
Bottom line for me? I expect my company to provide some of the training, to provide some time for training, and I expect that I will have to cough up some time of my own and some money as well. It is a shared responsibility.
I don't disagree that many companies show less than admirable...or even appropriate support and loyalty. You can work to change that with varying degress of success.
All of us here have a problem - if we don't update our skills we reduce the chance of making more money, decrease our employability if we get laid of, decrease our value at our current job if a layoff ever happens. We can choose to take whatever time our employers give us - from zero hours to a lot of dollars/time - and leave it at that, or we can seek to do more. Depends on how comfortable you are with skills, how close to retirement or career change, etc, how effective that strategy is.
We all think it's in our employers interest to update our skills, not all our employers agree. Even if you convince this employer/manager, you may well fight the same fight with the next one. It absolutely is worth trying to show them the value, but we can't put our careers in their hands. I know that I need to spend a minimum of 100 hours a year to stay current and expand my skills some. If I can get my employer to support some or all of those hours while I'm at work that's a big plus, but if not - I know what I need to do to advance my career and I'm going to get that done.
While usually a good bit of that 100 hours a year does come out of "family time" in some sense - depending on when I use the hours, I do it for family, not because it's good for my employer. Family is where my #1 loyalty is, and I have a responsibility to stay employed, stay employable, and to increase my value in the market to the extent I can. Everyone can decide how much time to trade for how much increased value, again, from zero to a lot.
Take ownership of your career in all respects. If you work for a manager/employer that doesn't invest in training isn't it worth your time to try to educate them - by making a sound business proposal which might well include benefits they've reaped already through your own private efforts?
I look forward to your continued comments - I hope by the time I'm done I'll be able to coach both sides of this conversation on the training issue.