Some managers view training as a “nice to have.” Others view it as an essential component of improving performance within a department.
But would a CEO ever consider training to be a requirement for accomplishing the strategic mission of his or her entire organization?
Well, I’ll let an excerpt of an article from Training & Development Magazine answer that question. The article, entitled “M’m M’m Good. Learning and Performance at Campbell’s,” features an extensive interview with Campbell Soup Company CEO Doug Conant.
In this interview, Conant shares how training has been important in his turnaround of the company. I found most of his most profound insights in his reponse to the question “Campbell struggled during the Great Recession. How did that affect the training and development budget?” Here is an excerpt from his response:
“All of our employees still have a training agenda. Our goal is that together we will build the world’s most extraordinary food company by nourishing people’s lives everywhere, every day. That means nourishing our employees’ lives, too. One way we tangibly demonstrate the Campbell promise of valuing people is through training and development. We’ve been working to raise our game in training and development for a whole decade, and we’ll continue to do it. It’s a small price to pay.
“We find that the more we provide employees in terms of training and development opportunities, the more engaged they become. And the more engaged they become, the better they perform in their roles and the better the company performs in the marketplace. There’s this wonderful flywheel effect. The more we help them with their training and their development, the better they perform, the more fulfilled they are, and the better we get at delivering training and development.
“You can’t grow if you don’t continuously raise the game there. If you’re cutting the training budget, you don’t have much to work with as a company. You’ve got to question your viability. We’ve got to invest to help people be their very best.
“Becoming the world’s most extraordinary food company requires that we attract, retain, and develop the best talent in the food industry. There’s just no other way to do it. It has to start with the people.”
Words from an iconic executive from an iconic company. Not exactly the type of person you’d want to disagree with.
To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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