Just the other day, I received an email from the McBassi and Company, a management consulting firm whose members were at one time deeply involved in examining the relationship between a company’s stock performance and their training investment in their people. In fact, the CEO, Laurie Bassi first noticed the relationship when she was one of the governing members of ASTD.

At any rate, it appears that they are now a full service management consulting company helping executives select, train and groom the right talent for their organizations. And in spite of the economy, this is something that organizations need to do on an ongoing basis if they want to continue being an ongoing concern.

Anyway, here is the text of the message that I got along with an invitation to join a webinar at the end:

Learning to Recover

Recent economic data suggests that the economy has turned a corner and is moving into a recovery stage. Although the unemployment rate may continue to increase, unemployment is a “lagging indicator” and historically has often continued to rise even long after a recession has officially ended.

By all accounts, this recovery will be a “jobless” one for the foreseeable future. This will require that employers squeeze more productivity from their existing workforce. Just how will they go about doing that? There are really only three options: require people to work longer hours, get people to work harder (perhaps by using fear-based tactics – implicit or explicit), or help people to work “smarter.”

In addition to being distasteful, the first two tactics are likely to be unsustainable. The third option – helping employees to work smarter – seems like the only sustainable path forward. But in order to work smarter, employees and their organizations need opportunities to learn something new. This doesn’t happen out of thin air (or it already would have happened). Effective learning investments require time, money, or (most realistically) both time and money.

Organizations that have taken the path of least resistance and cut their training and development budgets are the ones that will find it most difficult to recover. [See our recent white paper, Training Investments as a Predictor of Banks’ Subsequent Stock Market Performance for some startling evidence on this point.]

But having already shot yourself in one foot is not a good reason to shoot yourself in the other. If you work in an organization that has already made significant cuts in its investments in developing people, our advice is to argue long and loud to get that mistake reversed as soon as possible. Your organization’s very future may depend on it.

Want to Know More?

McBassi & Company can help. We have the benchmarking databases, as well as the research base linking human capital investment to future performance, to help you build the business case for investing in developing people.

Upcoming Laurie Bassi Webinar

Our CEO, Dr. Laurie Bassi, will be delivering a free webinar for Learn.com later this month. The subject will be “Beyond Employee Engagement: Creating Actionable Business Intelligence for Improving Your Return on People.”

Please submit your free registration and join us for the webinar on October 29, 2009. Registration is free – just click here.

About McBassi & Company

McBassi is a survey firm that helps organizations improve their performance through more effective management and development of people. We have proprietary research-based measurement methods, the analytic know-how, and a proven track record in serving as a catalyst for change and generating win-win results.

You can download a brochure describing McBassi and our services, or visit us on the web.

We can be contacted toll-free at 866.345.5730 or info at mcbassi.com.

Now as I look at their statement about a “jobless” economic recovery I begin to feel a little queasy. Especially since there are new areas that need to be explored, like the “Green Economy” or the rash of collaboration tools that now live on what we once knew as the Internet.

If we consider the economy as closed and only look at the job sectors that are currently in play, like the manufacturing or service sectors, then yeah, I can see this might be a jobless recovery and that would be ugly.

But there’s a whole lot of futuristic stuff in the works and in order to make that stuff happen there needs to be a whole lot of people who can turn that stuff into something that is real and workable. And that requires training.

I also look at the rest of that paragraph where they mention that a result of this jobless recovery, employers will need to squeeze more productivity from the existing shrunken workforce.

They mention that there are three ways to do this. I’m not really a big fan of option one (work more hours) or option two (working harder) because I’ve done both. And I got to tell you, neither one really works over the long haul.

So the only option left is to work smarter, which means it’s time to get trained, do some collaboration, discover what you don’t know or how to leverage other people’s experience. But if you are going to get some kind of training, why not make sure that the training is an investment in your future?

Make sure that your training turns you into a personal ongoing concern. Turn your training into an investment in yourself, not just a method for getting the current job done more efficiently or faster. Look beyond the job at hand towards your future path.

Anyway, this sounds like it will be an interesting webinar. I don’t know about you but I plan on being there. I hope you are, too.