In Human Resources Management, people say, “It is essential to be patient.”

I used to work for a firm that offered human resource training, and I see the point well.


However, when I visited clients, some said,

“Have a patience to train people? That’s bullshit. It’s a waste of time.”

A vigorous manager at a web marketing company was just like that.




Back then, I didn’t see deep into Human Resource Development, and I believed “it requires patience” for no reason.


So when I talked to the manager, I felt like he poured cold water on me.

He said, “It’s a waste. Listen, Mr. Adachi, it is important to give up some employees who don’t grow up for a long period.”


He was the top of the engineers who trained other employees.


I said to him,

“I disagree. People don’t grow up so quickly, so….”


The manager cut me off in the middle of the sentence.

“This is a company. We consider Return on Investment (ROI). We will invest in training if we get return. However, it is silly to invest in somebody with no hope”.




“Yes. See, most educational institutes show us ROI in their training service.”


“I see”.


“Actually, the important part is ROI in Human Resources; whether he has potential or he will be incompetent.

That’s more valuable than ROI in the training service”.




“Please don’t say everybody has potential.

OK, if we spend 20 years on a person, any person might grow up to certain degree. But a company needs employees with the ability to grow up much more quickly”.


“I see your point. That makes sense.”


“Of course we give equal training to any employees. But after 1 year we know who is a rough diamond and who is like garbage. We polish the diamond, and cut losses of the garbage. It’s the same for asset management. Everyone knows it.




Human Resource is an asset. We learn in study of Business Administration.

An asset is a waste if we don’t make use of it.

And we have to give up the asset that doesn’t have potential return.


Actually, the manager has trained some engineers with a high standard.

On the other hand, he has given harsh statements to some engineers;


“You’d better quit being an engineer.”

“Go to a company with a lower standard.”

Once he told the “no-prospect”, he wouldn’t spend any minutes on them.


I have met many managers who sighed that they invested a lot in training people, but didn’t get enough return.

Now I agree with the manager.

As I listened to him, I concluded that the remark, “a superior is responsible for his/her subordinate”, is only true up to a certain point.


To support his opinion, I’ll quote Google who says “When you are proud of spending a lot on training people, it just shows that you have failed to hire proper employees.”



“A superior is not responsible to train all of his/her subordinates”

The manager continued.


“Then, how do you decide who is competent enough for your time?”


The manager’s response was very quick.

“It’s whom I want to train, of course. A superior should spend time on subordinates whom he/she wants to train.


“Whom he wants to train….”




“I’d like to know whom you’d like to train is like.”


“Well, it might be clear to mention “whom I don’t want to train”. I hate one with no courtesy. It is definitely OUT.


“I see.”


“By courtesy, I don’t demand tricky staff. It’s to greet, to communicate, and to speak politely. I required only those three. If he cannot fulfill those, I don’t think I should teach him anything”.


“What else do you require?”


“Do not repeat same mistakes. I am tired of training a person who doesn’t learn”.


“…..anything else?”


“Well, be in the top 50% in the 1st year.”


“The top 50%?”


“In other words, above the average. The top 20% do their work without any instructions. That’s what I want, but some cannot work like that from the beginning.”




“At least, I won’t spend valuable time on a person without an attitude, an attitude to “win”. People below 50% don’t have it.


“I understand.”


“If I invest the same amount of time on a person with the attitude to win, he/she will give twice or more results.”


I thanked him, and was about to leave.

Then he said,

“It is ridiculous if everybody gets training as long as he/she gets into a company. He or she should show it’s worth investing. Don’t you think?”


I asked him,

“Have you had any subordinate who you didn’t want to train just because you didn’t like his personality?”


“I had. Well, I’d say it’s better for him to go to a different company.”



I assume he talked me about what other managers really think.

I’d say a company is a cruel place.



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(Photo:Katy Tresedder