Technology vs People: Where to Focus?

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Working with businesses as I do, I am confronted with a growing problem. Businesses are adding new technology to increase productivity, but the problem that is occurring is that their people don’t know how to use it to its full potential.

I was in a business the other day and it was explained to me by the owner that this would be the first time he ever logged into their Google Analytics. I was taken a back. How is this owner holding himself and his team accountable for productivity if they have these tools but there is no importance on having their people trained on how to use it?

Now before you think that this would never happen to you, let me ask another question. Do you know how to use your smartphone capabilities fully? Do you have apps on your phone or computer software that you used once and forget about or have bought but never used? I was just as guilty. I was shown this fact after my then 4-year-old found a screen on my iPhone I never knew existed.

Many businesses today have fallen into the trap of feeling like the uncool kid in school. They need the new toys or gadgets and are sure that the newest technology will solve their problems. As soon as a new product or improvement comes out they are first to buy it. “That will be the thing that helps us win market share!” Once said product is bought, it is quickly forgotten about since no one knew what to do with it.

And so they have a closet filled with new toys that didn’t work, but the real failure of these companies is that they never invest in training their people correctly on these products.

Magazines articles and websites are abound with successful companies and the common denominator is how they invested in their employee training. Companies will focus most of their marketing budget on increasing leads but not look at training the people who are handling them.

Companies question the validity of training systems or bringing trainers or consultants in to help but will not think twice about spending money on a full-page ad in a magazine.

Something is wrong with this picture.

One of the clearest comments have I received came from one of my clients. When I began to discuss how to improve his company’s performance, he told me not to talk to him about driving more traffic or getting more leads. He quickly acknowledged that he was not sure if he was correctly handling what he already had and wanted to fix it.

That is an owner with their priorities in the right order. He understood that he relies on people to deliver his services and products and ultimately he has to invest in long term training to keep his people sharp.

What percentage of your budget goes towards training your people? Is there a long-term plan of action?

The perception amongst many owners is that training is a one-time event. Many are required to do ongoing training as part of their industry, but they approach it as just checking off a list of items to get certification or co-op money.

If you are not investing over 15% of your marketing budget on training, either in educational workshops or on-site training then you are wasting your other 85%. Who is going to handle the new business? An app? Technology can help distribute or deliver content, but it is the actual side by side coaching that allows them to put it into place

People, processes, passion.. the 3 “P”s of success. An app won’t buy you success, but your people will.

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