Recently Zane Safrit wrote about your company's greatest asset -- your employees. I'd like to follow Zane's lead by discussing training. Training is a key element to high morale and productivity. It's one way to grow and develop "your greatest asset" and do more than pay lip service to it. I took a look around to find a few resources to help you with training, and this is what I found: Topher Liddle has written an article on developing a Guide for an Employee Orientation strategy that begins with the interview. First impressions are critical whether they are with new customers to your business or new employees for your organization. Securing and retaining good employees is critical for your ongoing success. Topher says: Employees today wish to feel valued, not just another cog in the machine, making it important to fit your organization to the employees needs, as opposed to the employee fitting the organizations needs. Starting off their experience with an orientation training program helps set the tone right from the start. Once you've hired a new candidate, ongoing training is an important part of providing development opportunities and also shows you believe your employees to be your company's greatest asset. Matt Alderton has written an article entitled Training Your Employees that I like because he shares resources for training from a variety of perspectives -- verbal, online, video -- all touching on the different ways people learn. Matt says: Think of training as an investment, not an expense; you may have to spend money to educate employees, but your business will benefit from having happier, smarter and more productive workers. When it is time to fill a leadership role, promoting from within sends the message to all your employees that they are valuable to the overall organization's success and someday they too might be considered for advancement. Rob May published an article on BusinessPundit where he shared the thoughts of Procter and Gamble's CEO Lafley on promoting from within: Somewhere out in the global sprawl of 160 countries where Proctor & Gamble sells its products is a 35-year-old manager who, one day, will be CEO. And the company's current chief executive, A.G. Lafley, sitting at headquarters back in Cincinnati, is watching, focusing his attention far and wide on those bright upstarts. Imagine being a manager for one of the largest companies in the world and realizing that someday you could be the company's leader. Rob calls leadership development a competitive advantage. Whether you have 2 or 200 employees, training should be an ongoing part of your organizational plan. Even if you are a sole proprietor you need to take the time for continuing education so you can stay one step ahead of the competition. Most colleges and universities offer business topics in their continuing education program. In fact, it was through a continuing education class that I first met Anita Campbell! What role does training play in your company; for your employees and for you? Do you have a regular plan? Do you allow employees to come to you with the information about a seminar they feel will help them in their role? Do you occasionally bring in a trainer to provide additional learning opportunities?