Employees are an organisation’s most valuable asset. They walk customers through every point of the buying journey, convince them to see value in your product, and ensure that they buy from you. They are the key drivers of your company’s growth and vision actualisation.
That’s the reason the English business magnate and investor Richard Branson said, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
As a business owner, how do you achieve service satisfaction, customer insights and drive success for your company so that you might one day even be able to sell your online business?
The short answer is to invest in your employees.
In this post, I will share why you should invest in your employee’s growth.
What is employee growth?
Employee growth is when employees undergo professional training to improve their skills and knowledge of a particular business aspect. And this training gets financial and moral support from their employers.
This is important because the systems and operational processes you’ve put in place will only work best when you have the right talent and skills to make them function optimally.
Many business owners think professional training is a one-off achievement. No, it’s not.
You should embrace professional development as a continuous learning process that nurtures professionalism and helps your employees achieve their career goals.
By doing this, you will retain exceptional employees, as data from Clear Company highlights that 68% of workers claim that training and development is the most important company policy.
Another Gallup report revealed that 87% of millennials claim that professional development and career growth are significant.
When employees get what’s important to them, they work wholeheartedly and ultimately buy into your company’s vision. Nothing will make them want to leave without actualising it.
Why you should invest in your employees’ growth
Here’s a scenario that’ll show you why employees’ growth should concern you as a business owner.
One day, an employer cancels professional development in his factory. He says the cost is too expensive. Then he procures the latest high-quality equipment for the employees to work with.
Less than a week after this purchase, two newly purchased equipment stops functioning due to wrong handling.
He calls the manufacturers to improve the machines and paid technical professionals to train his employees on using the devices.
So, what happens in the end? He ends up paying twice because he didn’t bother to train his employees on how to use the new tool.
If you’re an employer, this is one of the reasons you should invest in your employees’ growth. Other benefits of doing this include:
Achieve better customer service
When your employees are informed and intelligent enough to help your customers at every point of their needs, you achieve better customer service and brand visibility.
They can only achieve this level of competence if you begin to immerse them in your culture from the beginning. Research by the Society for Human Resource Management confirmed that 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days.
So you have to be strategic about your employee onboarding process to enable you to guide your new hires efficiently.
Investing in your employees also makes them connected to each other and the organisation. This creates a positive job immersion and strengthens your employees to represent the organisation better.
Minimise the cost of hiring
From job advertising to scheduling interviews, administering tests, onboarding, and training, hiring an employee is expensive and time-consuming.
Building and maintaining a healthy relationship with your employees is an excellent form of employee investment.
When you do this, you’ll win your employees’ loyalty which is the foolproof way of not losing such great talents and skills.
Attract smarter talents
People talk about anything you do to them, either good or bad.
When you invest in your employees, chances are they will tell their families and friends. Or they write about and share your excellent organisational policy with their professional network on LinkedIn.
That way, you get many brilliant talents reaching out to work with you, and it will also translate into favourable reviews online.
Retain motivated employees
It’s human nature; employees tend to leave an environment where their career growth is unpredictable.
Do you want employees to stick to your company? Then you must constantly invest in their growth by giving them opportunities to train and attend valuable events where they can build their network and learn new skills.
And when you give your employees this opportunity and treat them so well, it’ll lead to a healthy relationship, and most of them won’t want to leave your company.
Achieve employer-employee values alignment
Investing in your employees will help you shape their values to align with that of the company. Most employees do not have everything figured out before joining you.
But through investing in them, they are likely to get their career clarity, and by doing so, stay longer on the job, become better professionals, and add value to your company.
Surprisingly, these sets of employees wouldn’t be driven by compensation but by values. That way, they have updated corporate values, and you have more loyal employees.
Enhances prompt communication
Failure in communication can be expensive for the company. When poor communication sets into a business, it downgrades employees’ efforts and distorts the work process.
To keep things moving in the right place, you must invest in good communication training by sharing the tools and strategies needed for certain communication types.
This action will fast-track good decisions and effective action.
Improve productivity and teamwork
Most employee program boosts productivity and teamwork.
This happens because the team members connect and pair up in a group during fun and shared stage programs. That will later influence their work life.
When you encourage and finance team-building events, thereby investing in their physical and emotional connection, you’ll reap the fruit of better teamwork and improved productivity.
Get recognised as a healthy workplace
When employees learn effortlessly in the workplace and interact personally, they see the work environment more like a professional development place rather than a rigid environment.
Instead of pressuring your employees to work on unrealistic deadlines and pull them down with heavy workloads, invest in playbooks to improve their work process and allow them to spend more time with their families while getting the job done.
This single action can help your company win an award for a healthy workplace. That way, your employees can publicly say that they work in a healthy workplace, which will build your reputation as a caring employer and allow employees to give the best of themselves during the hours they spend at work.
Now that you know what you stand to gain by investing in your employees, why don’t you get started immediately?
Here are some tips you can use right now
Aside from training and professional development, another way to invest in your employees is to encourage them to have an individual development plan.
This will help them to create short- and long-term achievable goals and compel them to create a workable roadmap to achieving them.
You can also ask the manager and c-suite executives to guide better and mentor their direct downline colleagues to understand their needed career success skills better.
The next level is to catch your new hires as soon as they join your company.
Ensure that your new hires draft out their development plan during the onboarding process, and be sure to connect them to a colleague who can help them walk the journey.
One of the top reasons new hires quit in their first year is lack of engagement. With this employee growth investment tactic, you can be confident that none of your employees will leave in their first year.
These two steps are proven to help employees learn more about themselves and implement new ideas to make your business more successful.
Employees who know how to work harder on themselves, in general, will have a more significant impact on your business and be happier. Happier employees are better employees, and better employees lead to more delighted customers, and more satisfied customers lead to revenue growth.
When Google announced that its staff should use 20% of their time on personal pet projects, the world thought the tech giant would lose money. However, this investment wasn’t a waste of resources. It gave birth to two profitable product innovations; Google Mail and Google Maps.
Investing in employee growth offers you a significant long-term investment to become market leaders and access global profits.
However, you need to do so using the right strategies.
You should identify what prevents your employees from being fully aware of their jobs, and provide them the necessary resources for effective task delivery on those responsibilities, and gather data so that you can track performances.
Do you want to create a culturally engaged and happy employee work environment? Then invest in your employees’ growth.
About the Author
Owen McGab Enaohwo is the CEO and Co-Founder of SweetProcess, an easy-to-use and intuitive business process management software founded in 2013. The software makes it possible for company executives and their employees to collaborate to document standard operating procedures, processes, and policies quickly.