Are your staff too big for their boots?

I had a conversation with a client where they expressed their frustration at work as their company wouldn’t fund any training for them. As we talked through this it emerged that it was not because the company was lacking funds, or couldn’t spare the employee for that amount of time. The reason the company wouldn’t put my client through any training was out of fear that he would get “too big for his boots”.

The company was afraid that by allowing its staff to realise their potential, the staff would consider themselves above their own position and leave. Now there are some major flaws in this way of thinking:

  1. Not allowing staff to progress in the work place can leave them feeling frustrated and push them to leave their position to seek employment where they will be encouraged to grow. Thus you lose them anyway.
  2. They will feel undervalued as they will assume they are not “worth training” which is likely to then impact on motivation levels.
  3. You are not getting the most out of your employee.
  4. You are allowing a situation to arise in your company where you are the only one capable of filling those boots. The fact is, no one person can fill more than 2 boots at once, so it’s worth allowing someone to grow to the same size.

The fact is, most people want to progress at work, and if you allow your staff to be the best they can be, your company will be the best it can be. So don’t bonsai your staff! You only get fruit off a full-sized tree.

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