Employee Training Expense or Investment


In 2018, Zoe Training was featured in a Denver Business Journal article exploring whether employee training and development should be viewed an expense or an investment.
In an online DBJ video interview, David Aduddell - CEO and Senior Leadership Consultant truly believes even the most toxic of work environments can change.


“Many people are under the delusion that it takes a large reorganization or a lot of money to create a great work environment,” Aduddell said.

Aduddell has worked to turn around toxic workplace cultures — including Fortune 500 companies — for the past two decades as the CEO of Zoe Training and Consulting. His book, “Breaking the Coaching Code,” published in 2018 is designed for leaders looking to improve their workplace environments.
The book discusses Aduddell’s four “coaching zones” of feedback, training, mentoring and collaboration, and highlights how even small changes can transform a company’s culture.

Aduddell said one of the key signs that a workplace’s culture needs to be improved is the turnover rate. He said people don’t leave a healthy organization or effective leadership teams. Many company leaders that seek out his services have extremely high turnover, or large numbers of people leaving jobs.

“It’s people that are drowning and bleeding that are losing tons of staff,” Aduddell said.

He added that the adage that people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses often is true. He also finds that leaders often think they are strong in areas when they’re not. Communication issues are one of the biggest issues Aduddell sees as the cause of toxic work environments.

“Many organizations think they communicate really well,” Aduddell said. “But they don’t.”

He said issues often stem from the fact that people don’t communicate in the same way. For instance, he said that managers who enjoy getting physical rewards such as trophies might communicate their approval through giving their employees trophies.
However, he said, some employees might want their bosses to express their appreciation via an email or time off.
Email in particular can often be a cause of conflict because people have so many different response styles. Aduddell said one executive unknowingly angered their employees after deleting all emails they received during vacation.
In order to combat communication problems, Aduddell said organizations must establish communication policies that are distributed to all employees.

“You have to create a common language,” Aduddell said.

Even though he mostly consults with leaders, Aduddell said employees at all levels of the corporate ladder can change corporate culture. Too many times, he said, he sees employees leave an organization because of certain cultural problems only to find that there are similar problems at their new workplace.

“The grass is not greener somewhere else,” Aduddell said.

He said he helps employees find out what they can control and then work relentlessly to make that aspect of their work better.

“People at the center or bottom who start trying to make a difference can cause a chain reaction that takes off,” Aduddell said.

By Monica Vendituoli
Reporter, Denver Business Journal
Jun 22, 2018
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