Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why training pays off

Read a great piece on the plane today in The New Yorker's brilliant Financial Page about Uniqlo's staffing and training strategy that serves as a reminder of the value of not scrimping on training, the value of ensuring that staff know what they are doing and are attuned to customers' needs.   James Surowiecki writes that Uniqlo "hires a lot of people, and spends a lot of time training them."

In so many successful businesses I have written about and worked with, this really is the case. If the team is nurtured in a way that celebrates skill building, learning and knowledge sharing, it's a huge motivator and can translate into bottom-line success. The article cites a recent HBR study that looked at low-price retailers including Costco and found that these businesses, while they offer cheap prices, have higher labour costs than competitors. They have more sales people on the floor and they invest more in training them. Read 'The More The Merrier' (The New Yorker's March 26 issue) here.

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