From the moment you hire a new employee, you should be considering the competitive advantage you gain by developing the skills and capabilities of the employee. To do this effectively, examine the needs of your business to meet current skill gaps and when hiring fill these gaps with individuals who can make the most immediate and sustained impact for you.
However, do not neglect what your business future state will be, and as you look ahead 3-5 years and beyond, what are the products and services you are going to produce, and what competencies and experience will your organization need to thrive.
Three areas to consider when investing in your human capital. (1) The current skills and experience needed to delivery your products and services today effectively. (2) The future skills and experience necessary to meet advancements in technology and processes of your business in the next 3-5 years and beyond. (3) The skills you can provide through training and professional development that not only meets the current and future needs, but creates an innovative and creative competitive advantage over the competition by having the most effective and productive employees.
For the third item above, this is more than just providing more sales, technical, or customer service training. This is about discovering how the capabilities of your workforce can meet and exceed the needs of your customers and both supporting and empowering activities that develop these capabilities for the workforce. Do not simply throw your money away by sending employees to random training classes that may align with your business goals. Instead, make the process strategic and intentional to enhance the overall organizational capability to achieve and exceed your business goals.
A pleasant side effect of implementing these strategic programs is increased loyalty, productivity, engagement, morale, retention, and trust in leadership. Commit some of your time and resources to professional development, invest in your people, and they will become invested in you.