Training employees is a no-brainer, whether it’s to comply with employment laws or to help employees learn to do their jobs effectively. But have you considered taking your training plan beyond compliance and offering employees opportunities to grow? Employee development means providing opportunities for staff to build on their existing skills, knowledge, and abilities for future roles. Find out why implementing employee development initiatives is beneficial for your organization!
Providing development opportunities can help retain employees
The “Great Resignation” trend reported in the media and the hot job-seeker’s market suggest that employees are either leaving their jobs or looking for new ones in record numbers. A lack of development opportunities is one reason for this phenomenon. According to a recent Monster poll, 86% of respondents feel their career progression has been delayed due to the pandemic. The same poll found that 80% of respondents believe their employers offer no growth opportunities, and 34% believe that to advance, they need to find a new job with a different company. One way to retain your staff is to offer development opportunities so that they don’t have to look elsewhere to grow their careers. Developing your current employee pool can be more cost-effective than recruiting and competing for outside talent. By building your own people, you can also develop a sense of loyalty among your staff.
Providing development opportunities can help increase employee engagement
A recent study published in the International Journal of Organizational Analysis found that employee development efforts not only can reduce turnover but can increase job satisfaction. By involving employees in the development of their own careers and showing interest in their growth, employers promote motivation and engagement among their employees.
Having an employee development program in place simplifies the succession planning process. By preparing future leaders for promotions with stretch assignments, you’ll get a clearer picture of their abilities and their potential for success in future roles. Strong employee development plans help to attract new staff, as many job candidates seek companies that are willing to invest in them and offer a clear career path.
How to build an employee development plan?
As an employer, you would expect your workforce to be talented and knowledgeable in what they do to achieve optimum productivity. However, as the scope and needs of the company increases, it makes sense to offer employees opportunities to develop new skills and abilities. Professional development is a key aspect in keeping your workforce up-to-date with current skill requirements and consistently productive. It is time that we put the development back in ‘training and development’.
Since these professional development opportunities are provided to employees to keep up with the organization’s needs, it is essential to plan how and what development options to offer. There are five functions of professional development that employees should consider:
- Increasing knowledge: providing training to expose employees to directly relatable content to help them do their job better;
- Experiential learning: providing opportunities to gain practical knowledge by involving employees in hands-on tasks;
- Developing attitudes and beliefs: used in cases where employees are expected to enhance their system of values and standard of conduct;
- Rebuilding professional qualifications: focussing on individual competencies of an employee and identifying skill gaps that need to be filled; and
- Internal skill-sharing: creating a collaborative workplace with opportunities to share skills and knowledge within an organization through coaching, mentoring, and peer tutoring.
Developing staff may seem like a daunting and expensive task, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s look at some key steps to make employee development work for you and your organization.
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