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Knowledge Is Good

A common aphorism asks: would you rather pay to train an employee who ultimately leaves your company or not enhance skills of workers who stay with you? Whenever a good teammate and contributor decides to move on, it hurts. And, it makes perfect sense that there is added pain when you’ve invested in that employee and her knowledge and skill ends up behind the desk at a competitor. Still, consider the back half of that original question – do you want a staff of people who never learn or get better at what they do?

We spend liberally on training and continuous learning at Ecotone. One of the core values we embrace is “Knowledge is Good.” Generally speaking, we approve nearly every reasonable request for professional development. Occasionally, we see someone leave us whom we wish would stay, but we also have received feedback from our team that the company’s commitment to skill-building and investments in training are chief among the reasons people are happy at work and refer friends for job openings. We want incumbent staff at Ecotone getting smarter every year and expanding how they can contribute; in turn, Ecotonians tell us they enjoy an environment where constant learning – and sharing – is happening. In fact, we invite team mates to lead Lunch-and-Learn sessions every week where they might convey to their peers what they learned at a recent conference, how they execute project accounting, and the ins and outs of grant management. We’ve also learned about such things as deciphering animal skulls and raising honeybees.

Someone may leave and we will be poorer for it in the purse as well as our knowledge base, but we’re thankful for the ideas and innovations everyone shares while they’re with us. We implement new approaches and methods every year in our stream design and ecological construction precisely because of the investments we make in our colleagues. Even if we take one step backward when a talented professional leaves, we’re getting five steps better during the same period because of all the learning going on around the office. That’s progress we’re happy to blog about…

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