In a large study of over 5,000 workers in Spain, the University of Madeira discovered that employer-provided training has the same effect on job satisfaction as a 17.7% net wage increase.
I’ve been teaching for years that your employees don’t always want more money in order to increase their engagement and overall job satisfaction with your company. The ability to learn something new or achieve mastery of a skill they have already learned but have not yet perfected are both critical components to job satisfaction. Our surveys with top clients after in-office trainings and live seminar boot camps that we provide also support this recommendation.
Your best people are just as excited as you are to learn new things and push their boundaries of knowledge into new and unchartered territory. Don’t assume they are happy doing the same thing day after day if the paycheck is good enough. It simply won’t keep your best people engaged. Ask me how I know. I’ve learned this the hard way time after time.
If you examine the employee training programs for the Walt Disney Company, the Ritz Carlton and Virgin American airlines, you’ll discover this principle of learning new things is consistently in action. When I had lunch with a Disney Imagineer, a lunch date I highly suggest you take if ever presented with the opportunity, I discovered a huge secret to Disney’s success with this highly-competitive and highly-sought- after position within the company (this particular Imagineer had spent over 20 years building her career, interspersed with three separate interview opportunities before she finally landed the job). She told me they frequently move the Imagineers from project to project, between parks, overseas and through continuous motion Disney basically is forcing their top people to learn new things.
The same is true with Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO. When faced with two potential candidates to succeed him in the lead role when he steps down, he had the top executive in finance and the top executive in running the parks switch jobs for two years. Could you imagine? What does a finance executive know about the day-to- day operations of running a theme park and vice versa? It forced them to learn something new.
Think about your own practice. When are you most excited about its future – when you’ve been doing the same thing over and over or when you finally learn something new? Isn’t it time you provided the same exciting opportunities for your employees?