The military invests in training, and it pays off big.

All branches of the U.S. military have no problem meeting or exceeding their recruiting and retention goals. A strong part of the attractiveness of a military career are the opportunities for education and training. Service members may take advanced training in their field, in leadership, in additional skills, and even obtain their college degree. The return on this investment is a superiorly skilled workforce that is both motivated and loyal to the organization for many years. Training in the military is viewed as a long term investment.

In recent years, there’s been an unfortunate trend of businesses cutting out training and somehow still expecting their workforce to be highly skilled. They have unrealistic expectations that their recruits will just arrive at their doorstep trained up and ready to go.

Yes, it’s possible that companies who do invest in training may lose their talent to a competitor who may offer a larger salary but forego training. These companies I call “cheaters” because they poach the good people from the firms who invest in training. So the good firms simply stop training. Pretty soon, no one is training anymore and now members of the workforce are floundering to find the “right” training they “think” companies want to see on their resumes. Unfortunately, many times they are wrong and this only extends a painful job search.

This scenario is not good, yet it’s happening right now. There’s a high degree of frustration from employers that they can’t find qualified people. And there’s a high degree of frustration from job seekers that they can’t seem to qualify for the jobs.

With that said, this scenario is a fantastic opportunity for a company who is ready to repair and rebuild their workforce to something that is teeming with talent, and will propel them ahead of their competitors. Job seekers are yearning for a company to truly dedicate themselves to, they just need a reason to do so. That reason could very well include in large measure the lure of training opportunities.

If you offer an inspiring vision, screen your recruits well, lead in a transformational way, begin leadership indoctrination early, and offer meaningful training, you will have a highly motivated, highly capable, intensely loyal workforce. The cheaters may and probably will try to poach your people with a higher salary, and they may succeed with some, but the majority of your people will want to stay with you because of the intangibles like culture, being treated with respect, being valued, and being trusted.

ETHICS-T is the secret behind the military having the strongest, most committed, high performing workforce in the world. Military members put forth their very best despite arduous conditions, hold a strong team mindset, are highly flexible, adaptable, and learn very quickly, and often stay in the service for 10, 20, or even thirty years.

What business wouldn’t want that out of their workforce?

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