One of the most important assets an organisation has are its employees. To get just the right people for the job, organisations invest a lot of time and money. This article explains.
Once a candidate has been hired, the business can’t afford to sit back and simply let them work unaided. It is important to deliberately and consistently nurture and develop them.
Employee development involves building their existing skillsets and cultivating new ones in their specific jobs as well as in areas like; communications, customer service and interpersonal relations. Here are some reasons why you should do it on a regular basis.
It helps to attract the best talent
Top tier talent are attracted to businesses that promise to prioritise their growth. Because money is no longer the biggest motivator, companies can win employees over by having great training and development programs. In addition to salary, this can be part of the benefits package to attract qualified employees for both short and long term positions.
Making it clear that employee development is key at an organisation will also attract people with a growth mindset. These are people who believe in self-development and can adjust well to change. These adaptable employees are an asset because they seek solutions fast and can weather unexpected business changes.
Saves you money by retaining talent
In addition to attracting talent, employee development is important in retaining them. When employees know that their employer is willing to invest in their growth, they are less likely to leave to join organisations that will provide that. This cuts down on the employee turnover rate and saves the company money that would have gone into rehiring and retraining new staff.
Employee development is also a money saver because it creates a pool of competent employees who can take up management positions. The company will be training its own staff instead of investing resources into advertising and hiring from outside the company. This future thinking can allow employers to groom employees for specific positions.
Gives you a competitive edge
In order to claim market share and remain profitable, companies need to stay ahead of the competition. While product differentiation is a good way to do that, you need great employees to drive the differentiation.
Employee development turns good employees into great employees – the kind of employees who can set a business far apart from its competitors. These employees can be the difference between closing up shop and growth and expansion for a business, especially in turbulent business conditions such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Employee development is particularly important in the service industry. For instance; as the result of a well-delivered employee development, the level of customer care offered, can be the reason one business grows over a competitor who does exactly the same thing in what appears to be the same way.
Increases employee engagement and motivation
Engaged employees feel connected to the company they work for and the work they put out. The benefits of an engaged staff include better team work and increased productivity.
One way to keep staff engaged and enjoy those benefits is to offer employee development programs that offer them real value, both in their professional careers and personal lives.
Development programs challenge employs, they keep them excited about work and present them with an opportunity to do better at their jobs. This gets rid of the same old routine that can leave people feeling disconnected.
Employee development is also an important motivation tool. It proves that employees are not just doing a job but are building a career. Knowing that they are growing can serve to motivate employees.
In addition, taking part in development programs can be just what employees need to advance from one step on their career path to another. A company that offers them this opportunity is one employees will be motivated to work for.
It guarantees better performance
Employee development is all about giving people the skills to be better at their jobs. With development training a company can address the weaknesses employees have. The training can be targeted to help solve those weaknesses before they cause much damage. The newly acquired skills will enable employees to do their jobs better, faster and with less waste.
If training is done for teams then the company can enjoy the benefits of having high performance teams. When people master their jobs, their output also improves.
A few methods of employee development
Mentoring involves senior employees teaching and guiding junior staff. Mentoring can see the less experienced colleague shadowing the senior, having one-on-one sessions and doing on-job exercises.
Through mentoring, staff can learn new skills and also improve in areas where they are not as strong. It can be used to prepare an employee for a job change/promotion or to equip them with skills to excel at their current position.
With job rotations, employees have a chance to temporarily shift to different departments or work with different teams. This kind of swap allows colleagues to learn from each other. For instance, someone in Marketing can learn something from Human resources and vice versa.
It is also beneficial because it gives employees a chance to gain insight into all areas of the business. An understanding of how the entire organisation works can help to improve employee engagement.
Workshops allow employees to interact with experts and other employees, sometimes from external organisations.
Workshops are normally brief and have a set agenda and a desired outcome. The employees go in prepared to learn a specific skill or to upgrade a given specification. Workshops can be used to train teams and larger groups of employees at the same time.
Employee development doesn’t always get the attention it deserves from many organisations’ human resources departments. However, it is still important because it makes for a more productive work force.
By enabling employees to grow their skills, businesses can increase employee engagement and improve the quality of their products and services.