Leadership Training For Entry Level Employees

I don’t read many blogs on a consistent basis.  Mainly because I like to keep a fresh perspective coming in.  That and I have a short attention span.  I try to seek out people that do not necessarily think as I do to challenge my own beliefs.  Recently one of my very first readers Jody, recommended that I check out a blog.  As Jody was one of my first supporters, I have to trust her taste so I checked out the blog she recommended which was Gen Y Girl .  If my wish was to find a different perspective, then my mission was accomplished.  The blog is written by a woman named Kayla Cruz.  I very much respect her choice to use her name on her blog because she has some very strong opinions that many of her managers may not appreciate.  It is abundantly clear to me the she and I are writing from opposite ends of the management spectrum, but I do think that we share the same goal of having engaged employees that truly love coming to work.  I did not agree with some of her posts, nor do I think that she would agree with all of mine.

Reading her blog did have the desired impact on me.  It made me challenge my own thought process.  Specifically I was reading a post she had from a while back about offering leadership training to entry level employees.  The post can be found here, but I will try to summarize her main points below.

She feels like companies may be doing themselves a disservice by not offering management/leadership type training to entry level employees.  How are entry level employees ever going to be prepared for positions of greater responsibility if they are not afforded opportunities to learn new concepts?  I think her argument is valid however some of her rationale was a little questionable in my opinion.  If you desire to learn more, I would suggest reading the post for yourself.  She is a good writer, and I think she offers a very unique perspective.

Back to her hypothesis that organizations do not do enough to offer training to entry level employees.  I am guilty as charged.  I do not do a whole lot of training for my entry level employees.  I train them on specific jobs and functions, but certainly no soft skills or leadership training.  Kayla’s post got me thinking.  Should I be offering training to all of my employees?  It is not a matter of price, as I am more than capable of designing and delivering the training class.  It is not a matter of time, as I would be willing to work nights and weekends to do it if I thought there was a desire.  So why not do it?

The only rationale argument I can make is that I don’t think most of my entry level employees would be interested in the training. I guess I could experiment with a voluntary class.  Other than that the only reason I can think of not to do it is because I do not want to create false hope.  I do not want anyone that attends the training to think that that they are guaranteed to get a leadership position when it opens up.  If I am teaching them new skills then I would certainly think that would enhance their chances, but there are no guarantees in life.  I guess one other concern would be that I do not want people to come to the training to get out of an hour of work.  I am not sure that argument is too strong as the people that are likely to do that are going to waste that time some other way.

So my inclination is to develop a deliver a series of leadership training sessions designed for entry level employees.  Does that seem like a good idea?  Is there a downside that I am not thinking of?  Has anyone ever offered leadership training for entry level employees, if so how did it come out?  Was it a worthwhile exercise?

This is why I embrace diversity.  I want people to challenge the way I think.  I would encourage everyone to go out and find people that opinions and viewpoints different than yours.

Please let me know what you think about the training program.  I don’t feel strongly about it either way, so I welcome your opinions.

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