Don’t Bother Training Your People

Picture this scenario:

You’ve been putting in late hours at work, pushing hard to meet a big project deadline. Your manager is relentlessly committed to “winning” at all costs. You’ve recently found out some big, life changing news, but you don’t feel comfortable telling your manager what’s going on. The constant late-night pings on Slack are getting tiresome. Don’t they realize you’ve been putting in overtime for weeks now? Do they really expect you to respond to email at 2am? That new job posting you saw might be worth looking into…

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It’s sad how many managers still treat their employees like a number instead of like people who add value. People with real lives who can thrive in their roles – with the right support and leadership. Indeed, there are some companies who still stoically cling to – umm…“traditional” ways of doing business.

Of course, leadership development is very serious business. Our survey showed that 80% of larger companies have some type of leadership training program in place. But the fact is, human-centered leadership and management is not for every company. Here are five “very serious” reasons to skip leadership development at your organization. You can thank us later 😉

Profit is Priority #1 

Everyone knows that the true purpose of business is to make a profit. Everything else is just bells and whistles. After all, profitable companies are the ones that can stay in business – and keep growing. And when the company grows, that’s good for everyone. Larger teams mean that more can get done. When more gets done, more profit can get made. It really is that simple, right? 

Putting too much focus on caring about the teams will dilute focus and make people less productive. And don’t worry about the chaos that comes with scaling. The born leaders will rise to the top, take charge of the growing teams and keep everyone under control. It’s practically a law of nature. There’s no need to show first-time managers about the “doing and being” of leadership. They’ll pick it up over time. When profit is the goal, does anything else really matter?

Your company makes Stormtroopers 

You might expect any company with large teams of employees to care about seeing those employees grow. But not all employees should be primed for management and leadership. If you happen to be in the business of producing Stormtroopers – or any other army of robots – then you’ll want to steer clear of any type of professional development for sure. The last thing you’ll need is a rogue trooper getting their hands on any type of platform that helps them grow their leadership skills. Especially if that platform is human-centred. 

There will always be those who think that soft skills are important. But when producing top rate Stormtroopers, hard skills (and hard helmets) are what really matters most.

Nostalgia is a core value 

Do your C-suite execs love the charm of the good ol’ days? Do they hold firm to the belief that things were better before technology came and disrupted our lives? Are they committed to water cooler chats and sending documents by fax? Are Zoom meetings frequently canceled and remote employees given the cold shoulder? If your company’s leadership team believes deeply that change should be avoided and that everything must be done to keep the status quo intact, then certainly, take leadership development off the table. There’s no need to disrupt the organization by introducing diversity, equity and inclusion into the mix. Even though it’s known that leadership development can support DEI initiatives. Why bother upsetting the apple cart? Let’s keep partying like it’s 1940, shall we?   

Money is tight 

Let’s face it, training people is an investment. While it costs money to make money, do you really want to invest in training managers and leaders who may just leave anyway? Budgets are stretched these days and we all know the best way to stay afloat is to buy more ads! Investing in people is too high risk. Plus, some people are simply impossible to train anyway. Ads are a surefire way to guarantee that you stay visible and keep your sales flowing in. Even if there are budget-friendly solutions for quickly training your managers, stick with a strong ad spend when the economy is down. Forget about developing managers who can lead in times of challenge and stay visible at all costs. 

Your people are “Team Hard Skills”

When a company is scaling rapidly, the most important skills that managers need are hard skills. Quite frankly, is it really even a skill if it’s soft? The managers and leaders of today have a job to do and that job is to keep their people in line and meet targets. Some companies see little value in being flexible to each manager’s unique needs. Their managers are pressed for time most days of the week and need to keep focused on the skills they’re already good at. If this sounds like your company, you may want to give leadership development a miss. On the other hand, you could listen to how a company like Whiskey Cake managed to transform their business by shifting from focusing on hard skills to soft skills – but only if you’re curious.

Clearly, these are some very compelling reasons to skip leadership development and stick with – umm – “traditional” ways of doing business instead. It’s highly possible that some companies have made significant improvements since launching their leadership development programs, but how can you be sure? Even if the program content checks all the boxes: 

✔️bite-sized (to save time),

✔️insightful, 

✔️thoughtfully curated,

✔️backed by behavioral science, 

✔️cleverly driving meaningful, lasting change 

it would still be best if you could test it first – that is, if you were even going to consider it.

If none of this sounds anything like the company you run or work at, then you just might be curious about how Verb works. Yes? Great! You can start by hearing how our customers have leveraged Verb to upskill their managers and create strong team cultures. Then, checking out a demo is the easiest way to get a hands-on feel for how flexible the platform is and how quickly it can be rolled out at your organization. You should book a demo here.

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