时间:2022-5-4 作者:恒星英语网

Successfully Foster Successors

There are many ways to practice the craft of lifelong learning. Training and educating employees and providing a clear path for succession in specific company positions are methods getting a significant amount of attention these days.

At General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt’s recent succession of longtime chair Jack Welch brought to a close many months of speculation about Welch’s successor, and resulted in a relatively long transition period. Never before has the changing of the guard at a major corporation generated so much interest, not only in the business world, but in the general public.




People were interested for good reason. Welch’s career represents an almost unprecedented streak of profits for GE and an enormous increase in stock value. Except for a few brief periods in recent years, General Electric has had the highest market capitalization of any company in the world. Additionally, in a day and age when bi-directional loyalty between companies and their employees seems to be a thing of the past, GE has been the acknowledged leader in providing corporate training programs that actively develop its people and their leadership skills.


Given the press that the GE event generated, boards everywhere have been examining their training and succession management programs. The tightness of last year’s labor market for skilled employees is another factor that led companies to step up their efforts to attract and retain workers. Even under current labor conditions, companies want the best employees they can find. They realize that economic conditions will ultimately shift and that they will need to prepare for changes by maintaining a long-term approach to learning within the company.


Many people think that only technology workers receive training preferences, but this is not the case. Computers have made it easier and more economical for companies to offer training to employees at all levels. These programs can deliver not only basic training, but also succession planning and cross-training to all employees. Online and distance-learning programs permit an "anywhere, anytime" approach to providing instruction, across a range of industries and occupations.


In addition to formal courses, companies must examine how they cross-train their employees. In larger companies with multiple pisions, a few years in several businesses under the same corporate umbrella can produce a well-rounded employee. As employees move from one area to another, they often take with them a fresh approach to meeting the challenges in the new environment. This form of successful succession can be very important.


Some might say that on-the-job training programs are a luxury only larger companies can afford, but it can be equally effective for small or medium-sized companies to provide similar, if smaller-scale programs. In the environment of a small business, where each person carries a larger share of the company’s burden, such a program can mean the difference between a company’s success and failure when employees leave a company or are out sick for extended periods of time.


Looking at fresh ideas keeps a business vital, and training and other forms of lifelong learning are great sources of fresh ideas. Many organizations give lip service to how well their employees are treated and how much they contribute to the company’s success. Fewer have a formal learning program in place. It is not that difficult to do. All that is required is the willingness to act.


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