Is Your Team Prepared for the Challenges Ahead?
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal caught my attention. It seems some of the largest professional services firms are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of preparation they are seeing from newly hired business school graduates. Tired of spending countless months getting new recruits up to speed, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
These companies are working directly with business schools to customize courses and are substituting real-word analysis in lieu of generic case studies. The idea is to graduate “work ready” candidates who will spend less time being oriented and trained and can instead jump in and contribute straight away. Rather than complaining about the lack of preparation they were seeing in new recruits, these firms went right to the source with offers to help business schools craft a curriculum focused on transferrable, work-related skills.
In my work with entrepreneurial business leaders, one constant refrain is the lack of work-ready candidates available to fill job openings. Employers cite a lack of basic skills, awareness of proper office/business behavior and business and financial acumen. These small to mid-sized companies often lack the internal resources to address these challenges.
While many of these businesses offer some training to their employees, this is mostly directly focused on the specifics of the work they are asked to do. Employee development on matters like organizational behavior, supervisory, and managerial ability, creative thinking and problem solving, and basic business and financial training is mostly overlooked.
One client company recently moved from private ownership to an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan). As part of this process, they took advantage of a comprehensive training program based on the best-selling book, "The Great Game of Business." An essential aim of this training is to develop a better understanding of business in general and basic finance in particular. For the finance subject, they utilized a workbook created specifically for financial training in the graphic communications industry, "Beyond the Bottom Line." The workbook and companion instructor’s guide explain basic financial concepts in a simple, easy to understand way.
The results of this financial training were dramatic. Employees at all levels expressed a greater understanding of the urgency of business principles and practices by relating them to revenue, expenses, and profits. Some reported having a better grasp of their personal finances as a result.
Taking responsibility for developing employees is a characteristic of leading organizations.
For more information on how your company can get started, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.