I work for a small manufacturing company of less than 30 staff members where there is day to day interaction between top-level management and floor staff as there is essentially no middle management.
There are recurring issues within the company that usually boil down to poor communication from management to floor staff or between management and customers. Neither the general manager or production manager have uni degrees (not that it is a problem in and of itself) but have moved to the top from the floor.
As a result, they are not interested in ideas such as professional development or external consultancy to improve business as they consider it a waste of money. I personally think that both of these things are very important to improve our skills and the business.
What are some points that I can put forward that may show that professional development is a good investment for the the business, not just the staff? How can I encourage management to look into and even partake of professional development without sounding condescending? I feel that they would benefit from some form of management or communications training as they have had none of either. The management skills they have received have come from the management before them and they've haven't worked for another company for 20+ years, which can sometimes lead to narrow views on some things.
Also, what can I say to encourage them to look into business development consultancy to improve efficiency and profitability? Usually when work gets busier with orders, we throw overtime at it or hire more people, which increases costs more but income doesn't scale the same way. I think that having a fresh set of eyes on how the business operates may help them to cross-examine the way things are run and to identify where systems can be improved.
How do I bring up these points in a constructive manner when they consider the only way to improve profit is to increase sales and that both the above ideas are dead money? Or is professional development and consultation really just a waste of time?