Ben Horowitz:

“Training is, quite simply, one of the highest-leverage activities a manger can perform. Consider for a moment the possibility of your putting on a series of four lectures for members of your department. Let’s count on three hours preparation for each hour of course time—twelve hours of work in total. Say that you have ten students in your class. Next year they will work a total of about twenty thousand hours for your organization. If your training efforts result in a 1 percent improvement in you subordinates’ performance, you company will gain the equivalent of two hundred hours of work as the result of the expenditure of your twelve hours…

“When people interview managers, they often like to ask: have you fired anyone? Or how many people have you fired? Or how would you go about firing someone? These are all fine questions, but often the right question is the one that isn’t asked: When you fired the person, how did you know with certainty that the employee both understood the expectations of the job and were missing them? The best answer is that the manager clearly set expectations when she trained the employee for the job. If you don’t train your people, you establish no basis for performance management. As a result, performance management in your company will be sloppy and inconsistent…

“Andy Grove writes, there are only two ways for a manager to improve the output of an employee: motivation and training.”

Read the full post.

Ben’s post reminds me of classic Peter Drucker. For examples, see Drucker’s Management by Objectives and other writings by Drucker.

Topics Employees · Resources

4 comments · Show

  • Chris Khoo

    Out of curiosity, what does a picture of Michael Jackson with Ben have to do with training in startups?

  • Dnyanraj

    There is no guaranty of the person staying in the company if he/she is been trained..

    My experience with people in startup is, they start looking for another job in 6 months to 1 year, so better recruit the people with the skill that you require, rather than training them after they join the company..

  • Mohammed Shahbaaz Hussain

    I agree with you @Dnyanraj . There is no guarantee, people will return back after getting training from a startup….They look for better offers or big company etc… If you offer them some stock options, then may be the things will be different, this happens mostly at startups…

  • Gaith Saqer

    well from my experience, DO NOTE HIRE SOMEONE WHO HAS NO SKILLS RELEVANT TO your startup or industry, and make sure they are passionate about it. IF they do not read a relevant blog, do not hire them in the beginning and do not waste your time on training bc at the end you will fire them.
    A startup is made of small teams, training should me minimal, people should learn by themselves. that is why we have the internet.