Future Generali

Should organisations spend on training their employees even in the current scenario?

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Rakesh Wadhwa:

The first two of your 29 number ones, talk about training and preparing employees to be better, but training people to what end? Today all People intensive and labor intensive or repetitive jobs are being replaced by RPAs, bots, AI, and even robots and organizations are feeling conflicted because on one hand they need to be clinically ruthless to make their business more efficient. And on the other hand, they need to bring new skills into the business, which existing people may not have. So is it really practical to double down on building new, soft skills with your people versus replacing, new skills and even technology for that matter.

 

Tom Peters:

Well, there are a lot of ways I would answer that. I am not, I'm sorry to say, a very religious person, even though I was raised in a church. And so I am not preaching as I like to say Religion with a capital R. But there is a well known columnist in the United States. His name is David Brooks and he said the following a while back. And I just thought it was one of the most profound things I had ever, ever read. He said there are two kinds of virtues. There are resume virtues, and there are eulogy virtues? The resume virtues say. He went, his parents sacrificed. He went through a good school. He got high grades. He went to work for a company. He got lots of promotions. He has a big house because he made a lot of money. That's all the thing. Those are the things in the resume. The eulogy virtues, what people say at grave side, after you have passed away. And my feeling is I'm not very religious, but I would really hope that the people at grave side would include a lot of my employees who thought I had helped make their life incredibly better during the two months or two years that they were with me.

Not everything it's going to change in the next 24 months COVID or not COVID. And in order to get 2027, we've got to get through 2021, 2022, 2023, et cetera. So the first thing we've got to do is be incredibly great at what we do right now. That is critical. And the best way to do that is just have people who are learning and learning and learning. You have two obligations to your employees. One is the business obligation to help them get better at the things that are going to help our customers want the buyer products and services. The other thing that you owe when you hire somebody, you owe it to them to help them have higher odds on the 31st of December, 2020 than they did on the 1st of January, 2020 for staying here, employed, staying in the market and keeping up. It's your responsibility to help them grow. so let's be very, very crystal clear about that. Well, one of the practical points Is you want to develop products and services that are very, very, very humanized and when you do that, you are going to have a much higher share of people who are still employable, who are on the payroll. I just don't see us in a situation where employment is evaporating.

I have an insurance with a company called USAA, United services, automobile association, that was founded to help people in the military life many years ago, to be able to pay insurance because the army and the Navy didn't pay very much at all. I still have USAA as my insurance company, 54 years later, as they always remind me and.

USAA has the best call center on the planet. It is not a factory. There's not low pay people. You call up USAA and they answer the phone on the first of the second ring and they chat with you and they begin by saying, wow, thank you for the 54 years that you've been a customer of the company. And then we talked through the problem I've got. I had one because of a little car accident a few weeks ago, and we talked through the problem and they talked to me intelligently and sometimes in the middle of the conversation, we go off and talk about sports. Yeah. And I always say to them, Oh my gosh, I'm sure your boss is standing behind you and beating you with a whip and telling you more productivity, more productivity. And the person from USAA always answers. And they said, no, you don't understand that. My goal, Tom is to make you happy. And so I am given all the time that I need to enhance the relationship with you. I mean, we can't talk all day long, but you never feel like it's somebody who's in a rush. And, and I talked to a woman, as I said, two weeks ago. I know her kids' names. I know where they go to school. She knows my kids' names. And we had a conversation between two human beings. The point being, I would never stop doing business with that company, if hell froze over and they have paid attention to taking something mechanical, In a lot of places like a call center, and turn it into their biggest marketing tool it has! you gotta have imagination and you can make this stuff work.

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