Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve been intensely curious. I also have a passion to add-value to others. I’ve discovered that before you can add value to others and really help them, you must first grow yourself.
So I have lived a life full of learning. Every day I challenge myself to learn something new. That is why one of my core values is – Pursue Personal Growth.
Let’s continue our discussion of more of ERC’s (Employers Resource Council) list of characteristics of “great workplaces that excel at the attraction, retention, and motivation of top performers” based on 15 years of surveys and interviews. 
Every leader can develop a great workplace by cultivating the following attribute in their culture.
Training and Development
ERC reported that great workplaces invest in the development of their people:
Great workplaces invest in training and development for their workforce to grow their talents and capabilities. They make time for learning and support it by paying for employees to participate in various opportunities and offering/delivering a variety of training and career development programs.
In our company, we had a leadership principle, ON/IN. It means to “work ON the business while you work IN the business.”
Since we were in the moving and storage business, our peak-season was the summer months between school years. It was a time of heavy working IN the business. During this time we would ask our people to take note of things that we could improve upon and could work ON during our non-peak season.
During the non-peak season, ON/IN meant for us to grow our people, grow our business, and make quality improvements.
Many companies layoff people during their non-peak seasons, but I chose to invest in our people. I filled their time with lots of training and development – building for our next peak-season.
One secret I learned early in our business was that when we grew our people, they would help us grow our business. That is how we grew from five employees to over 150 by the time I sold the company.
We not only had skills training for our people; we also had training to help them become better people, better moms and dads, better friends, and better servants in our community.
We had book reviews to encourage personal learning and group development. Another way we reinforced and lived out this principle was through education assistance. We reimbursed up to $500 of tuition costs for those who continued their education at an university or college and made a grade of ‘C’ or higher.
Wise leaders look at training, development and education as an investment, not an expense.
What about you? How does your company encourage personal growth, learning and training? (you can leave your comment below)
In our next blog post we will continue to look at more characteristics of winning cultures.
 yourerc.com “HR Insights Blog” ERC (Employers Resource Council), 5-Sep-2013 (12-Aug-2014).