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Make Learning An Integral Part of Business

Posted 7 years ago

One thing that often plagues businesses is the cost of finding qualified employees to fill a specific role or position. One of the solutions is to immediately hire someone to fill that need. While this offers a quick fix, growing the experience and knowledge of your existing employees is often a more cost effective and profitable strategy over time. Business owners taking this approach benefit by expanding the skill sets of existing homegrown talent, which in turn boosts morale and can even bring unforeseen reciprocal returns as those skills are applied elsewhere. This week, Nido Qubein shows us how investing in employee learning can have a massive return for your business and also develop the culture within your organization. 

Make Learning An Integral Part of Business 

by Nido R. Qubein

If you haven’t turned your company into a learning institution, maybe it’s time to take the plunge.
I’m not talking about establishing an MIT or a Harvard Business School on your premises. But if you haven’t yet made learning an integral part of your business process, you’re missing out on a good investment.
Let me explain.
Every business consists of three major elements: a product, a process and a person. Businesses spend gobs of money developing, advertising and selling the products. They spend more money on the buildings and equipment that are vital to their processes. Doesn’t it make sense to invest just as heavily in the human element?
When you spend money on equipment, you expect a payback in the form of longer life, fewer breakdowns, lower operating costs and higher productivity. When you spend money developing your work force, your payback comes in the form of higher productivity, higher quality, greater innovation and more competitiveness in the marketplace.
The Motorola Corporation has estimated that each dollar it spends on educating its employees delivers $30 in productivity in three years. That’s dramatic payback.
I know, I know. You’re running a business, not a university. But it’s possible to have a successful corporate education system under your own roof, using your own personnel. I know because I’ve designed such systems for successful corporations.
A good corporate education system uses an integrated approach to educate the entire organization. Its purpose is to improve the whole individual — the mind as well as the hands. If you do it right, it will break down the adversarial relationship between management and employees and guide them into a mutually beneficial partnership.
Corporate education can help employees to form personal visions that are congruent with the corporate vision so that everyone is working toward the same end. A good corporate education program begins with a question: “Where do I want this company to go?”
Once you’ve answered that question, you devise a plan for developing in your people the qualities and attitudes that will take you there. You should look upon your education program as a continuum and not as a series of one-time efforts. Devise and follow a clear plan for moving from Point A to Point B efficiently and profitably.
In recent years, America’s pace-setting corporations have spent at least 3.2 percent of their total payroll on continuing education and development. Some have spent significantly more, because they know they can’t invest in anything more valuable than the people who work for the company.

creative thinkerDr. Nido Qubein came to the United States as a teenager with little knowledge of English and only $50 in his pocket. His journey has been an amazing success story. The Biography Channel and CNBC aired his life story titled “A Life of Success and Significance.”
As an educator, he is president of High Point University, an undergraduate and graduate institution with 4,300 students from 40 countries. He has authored two dozen books and audio programs distributed worldwide.
As a business leader, he is chairman of the Great Harvest Bread Company with 220 stores in 43 states. He serves on the boards of several national organizations including BB&T (a Fortune 500 company with $185 billion in assets), the La-Z-Boy Corporation (one of the largest and most recognized furniture brands worldwide), and Dots Stores (a chain of fashion boutiques with more than 400 locations across the country).
As a professional speaker, Dr. Qubein has received many distinctions including the Golden Gavel Medal, induction into the International Speaker Hall of Fame, and as the founder of the NSA Foundation in Arizona.
He has been the recipient of many honors including The Ellis Island Medal of Honor (along with four U.S. presidents), The Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans (along with Oprah Winfrey and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas), the DAR Americanism Medal, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, Sales and Marketing International’s Ambassador of Free Enterprise, Leadership North Carolina Governor’s Award, and Citizen of the Year and Philanthropist of the Year in his home city of High Point, North Carolina.