Peter Messana – CEO
One of our values is, “Take the time to be curious – Learning allows you to grow, self growth fuels us all.”
Continued education and learning is very important to both the individual and the company. Unfortunately, people do not spend enough time learning. I hear all sorts of excuses, like, “I don’t have enough time,” or, “I’m too busy with project X”. Those are both farces and stem from the problem of prioritization and understanding what is most important. It’s sort of like the idea of, “I cannot afford that” while you are sipping on a Starbucks coffee.
When someone pushes back that they don’t have the time, I pivot the conversation completely to ask them what show I should watch on Netflix as I am all out. We are all busy, we all have around 16-18 hours of awake time and that time is filled. We are never really doing “nothing” so it comes down to a choice and priority. Would you be better served taking an online course at night or watching Netflix and “doing nothing”? I get the idea of disconnecting to relax, but that is a prioritization of just a different activity. What if learning was “relaxing”? More importantly, why are we even talking about trading off Netflix with learning, why not learn during the day? As an employer of many people, I have zero concern with someone using their “work hours” to learn, it likely means that work spills over work hours or maybe you have some time to fill between projects.
Since everyone is in control of their own destiny, they should always be learning. Outside of “when” to learn, we as leaders should not be concerned about what might happen as they gain more knowledge. Of course, the hope is that they use it to better themselves which betters the company, but there is always a chance that it opens the doors for other opportunities outside the company. That is perfectly fine. If you do not have a role for someone that helps them advance in their career then you should help them find a new role elsewhere and be happy that you helped them grow. I strongly believe that if you take care of your employees and provide them with opportunities, they will remain at the company. Never prohibit learning with the thought that you are protecting your employee churn, that’s super short term thinking. Always encourage learning.
Those that learn more, will be stronger team members.