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Looking to boost employee morale? Consider education

Bill Lee sales & operations

After surviving 2020 and all the hardships of complying with the COVID-19 rules and regulations, most employees are in the mood for something positive to happen in their work life. Let’s face it, we’re at the end of the first quarter of 2021 and I don’t know about you, but I can’t see much progress except for an elusive vaccine that only a handful of us currently qualify to receive. There’s one thing that employees value— especially younger managers and salespeople—and that is education. I’m talking about the kind of education that will make your team more valuable to you and to themselves. The smarter they are, the higher the odds they will produce a handsome return on any investment you make in them.

On numerous occasions when conducting consulting assignments, an owner has called me aside to point out a particular young manager who seemed to have all the right stuff, but his people didn’t like him. On one occasion, I was told that during the previous year, this manager had more turnover in his department than all other departments combined.

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It has been my experience that when you have a manager who is either too heavy handed, or is working too hard trying to build personal friendships with direct reports, that manager would benefit from some focused training on how and why to put down the bull whip and how to remain friends with his people without becoming so close to them socially that he is rendered powerless as a supervisor.

Although there are dozens of professional trainers in virtually all large cities, odds are none of them have the longevity and track record of Dale Carnegie, the author of the international best-selling book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” This book was the first—and still the best—book of its kind that can lead struggling managers to success and smooth the approach of managers that are a bit too rough around the edges.

The Dale Carnegie organization offers in-house training programs as well as online training. The variety of the programs they offer is impressive. There are six categories of training:

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  • Leadership Training
  • Presentation Training
  • Sales Training
  • Customer Service
  • People Skills
  • Organizational Development Solutions

The courses are reasonably priced, are a proven product, and are offered in virtually all medium-to-large cities. This company has prospered for decades because of the quality of their instructors and the value their students gain from attending their programs.

The following are some examples of their course offerings:

  • Leadership Training for Managers
  • Developing Your Leadership Potential
  • Leadership Training for Results
  • Skills for Success
  • High Impact Presentation

Salespeople can benefit from training programs as well. A couple of years ago, I was hired by a millwork company to take a look at their sales and marketing program for a new window they had developed. They had sunk quite a bit of capital into the development of this product and were counting on its success to give their company a much-needed boost in sales. I asked them to call a special meeting and invite all their salespeople to come prepared to present the window to a group of home builders.

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The salespeople were unprepared, unpracticed, and unconvincing. No wonder this window had never gotten off the ground. Dale Carnegie’s High Impact Presentation programs would have been a good investment for this company. For additional information, visit

Bill Lee is a respected sales and business consultant in the LBM industry. For more information, contact Bill at

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