Are you looking to improve employee development in your company but you are not sure how to do it? You’ve come to the right place. I have created this list to improve employee development in 7 simple steps, so keep reading.
You might be wondering why employee development is a hot topic nowadays. Did you know that 87% of millennials state that career development and professional growth are very important these days? The reason is that a lack of professional growth is a major cause of employee turnover.
Also, according to ClearCompany, 25% of employees would be more satisfied at work if they had the chance to focus on their best skills.
As you can see, employees want more opportunities to develop professionally in your company.
But first things first. Let’s take a look at what employee development really is and how you can design a plan to incorporate it into your company.
What is Employee Development?
Employee development is a joint program between the employer and the employee. This program is designed to upgrade employees’ skill sets and knowledge. By doing this, they can grow as professionals and keep adding value to the company.
In addition, An employee development program consists of different strategies and actions designed to help the employee grow professionally. With it, you will allow workers to develop in their careers and feel comfortable with the role they play.
Employees are not just a source of earning money. Therefore, it is important to develop a plan in order to make your employees grow and feel comfortable within the company.
The basic aspects of a well-designed employee development plan go from professional training to emotional balance and physical health. Moreover, providing support through mentoring or coaching sessions need to be a part of your plan.
How to Improve Employee Development [Step by Step]
The million-dollar question is, how can you, as a manager, develop an employee development program in your company? According to ClearCompany, 76% of employees reported that they did not receive enough opportunities for career growth.
Therefore, it’s your job as a manager to ensure this doesn’t happen. Here are 7 steps to improve employee development in your company.
1. Start a Mentoring Program
Coaching and mentoring may seem like a difficult task for managers at first. However, in today’s companies, developing mentoring programs for your employees is important.
Having mentoring meetings will set the base for a more complete employee development program. Ideal mentoring sessions will go deep into discovering what challenges employees are facing at work. Likewise, discussing a proper way to solve these problems is necessary.
Furthermore, inquiring about the skills or knowledge they perceive as necessary to perform better at work is a must. From here on, you can start getting ideas on what to include in a professional training program to come next.
Of equal importance, you need to keep a written record of what your employees’ needs and requirements are. For this purpose, you can use the following template for them to fill out.
Employee Development Template
After completing the template, it will be your job to analyze the requirements. Later, you will work on how you can make the requirements possible. You will have to analyze, compare, and bring to reality the proposals you consider achievable.
In parallel, you will need to appoint meetings to monitor the process and give or receive feedback from your employees. Ideal mentoring meetings will take place once a week or once every two weeks.
Employee Development Statistics
Let’s take a look at the following statistics provided by Gartner:
- 25% of employees who participated in a mentoring program had a salary grade change. On the other hand, only 5% of those who did not enroll in the mentoring program had the same benefit.
- Employees who participate in mentoring programs are promoted five times more often than those who don’t.
- Having a mentoring program increases the retention rates for both mentees and mentors in 22% and 20% respectively.
- 71% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs.
2. Personal Development
Even though many companies didn’t always take their employees’ personal development seriously, they now realized it’s as important as any other professional development area.
Employees are human beings. Therefore, the way they grow and feel within the company can have a huge impact on their performance. If you don’t take care of personal development, it will have a negative impact on your company by increasing employee turnover rates.
The concept is simple. A happy employee is a productive one. So, how can you, as a manager, encourage employees’ personal development in your company?
Create a Profile For Every Employee
Start by creating a program that will take care of interviewing every employee in the company. The purpose of these interviews is to pinpoint weaknesses and strengths in every person.
Moreover, the idea is to identify how they feel in their current job. Also, if they have good relationships with their coworkers and superiors.
Identify if They Have Student Debt
Did you know that there are more than 1.5 trillion dollars of student debt in the US? According to Chamber of Commerce, more than 1 trillion of this debt is federal debt or owed to the federal government.
Student debt often becomes a major issue due to the high-interest rates and the time it takes to pay off the debt. So, how can you offer your employees a hand with this?
There are many ways to help your employees with student debt.
One of the easiest and proven ways to help employees save money and lower interest rates by 1.7% is FutureFuel, a company that specializes in collaborating with employers to offer student loan payment benefits to employees.
You can join as an employer and start working with a SaaS platform to provide your employees with a modular offering including Roundup, Repayment, Roll up, Refinancing, and Read.
This way, you can help your employees save money and feel relieved when it comes to paying student debt. This will ultimately translate into higher retention rates within the company.
Design Programs to Help Employees With Intellectual Growth and Physical Help
Another way to promote personal development in your company is to design a program that provides employees with intellectual growth and physical help options.
Seminars and conferences don’t only have to be about business or strategies to make the company better. You can offer employees seminars to learn skills that are not necessarily related to their jobs.
Moreover, every employee should have access to a gym membership or similar activities that allow them to keep fit and healthy so they can perform better at work.
Another way to do this is by having team activities such as sports competitions and tournaments that include every department in the company. This is an excellent option to increase comradery and foster good relations among staff.
3. Create a Professional Training Program
This category may seem obvious but you’d be surprised at the large percentage of employees who don’t think they are receiving enough support and training at work.
According to a Shift eLearning study of 4300 workers, 74% felt they were not developing their full potential at work. In a different study, 56% of HR managers considered training to be essential but they aren’t doing enough to increase employee training opportunities.
In the same manner, the vast majority of HR managers and employees agree that training is an essential part of the onboarding process.
Therefore, creating a professional training program for employees is a must. This with the purpose of performing better at work and reaching their full potential. Providing training will prevent your company from losing money or employees making expensive mistakes.
The question is, what kind of training programs should you provide them with?
- Mandatory Training Courses
With this in mind, you should consider making the essential courses mandatory and during working hours so employees can attend.
4. Cross-Department Training
In the majority of cases, companies have multiple departments that fulfill specific purposes. However, decisions made in a specific one will impact other departments in one way or another.
For this reason, employees have to be aware at all times of how the decisions they make will affect other departments and how they can work in conjunction with them. This way, they will complete tasks satisfactorily and with the expected results.
Moreover, cross-department training will help develop a stronger workplace culture. Many employees feel they don’t get to know other people within the company and in many cases, they don’t even know what other people’s jobs are.
Therefore, it is beneficial to include all the departments in training sessions so they can share experiences and knowledge.
Some of the benefits of cross-department training are:
Allows Employees to Multi-Task
By having employees receive extensive cross-department training, some of them will be able to complete other roles different from what they usually do. This will foster innovation, creativity, and keep things fresh.
Strengthen Cross-Department Bonds
By training in conjunction and learning what other departments and individuals do, you will set the base for better communication, understanding, and cooperation among departments.
Gives a Broader Picture
Cross-department training means that individuals will feel less as a simple employee completing a task and more like an important team member of a bigger system. This way, motivation levels will increase and that will ultimately translate into better performance.
5. Create Trust in Organizational Leadership
Did you know that 83% of employers believe that attracting and retaining talent is a growing challenge in today’s companies? Allegis Group.
In many companies, employees don’t feel comfortable with the organizational leadership. One way you can address this problem is by using cross-department training strategies.
Of equal importance, managers need to inspire trust in their employees and motivate them to receive training and support if they need it. When an employee feels supported by their managers, they are less likely to resign.
How can you help your employees and make them trust in the organizational leadership of your company?
Listen to Your Employees
Pay attention to your employees’ suggestions during mentoring sessions or any other meeting. If they are expressing discomfort with an aspect of the company, you should take note and assess that area properly.
Let Them Know That You Are Willing to Listen
Sometimes, an employee won’t express any opinion or suggestion because they don’t feel there is a proper communication channel. It does not matter if you are a senior executive, always be willing to listen to any employee in the company.
Offer Solutions to Their Problems
Not only is listening to them enough. You will also have to offer solutions or, at least, let them know that the matter will be evaluated. If they are right, act accordingly.
Sometimes, feeling that a superior is there to listen to them and help them solve any issue is more than enough. Feeling abandoned at work is never something good for an employee. Remember, it’s all about helping them trust the management of the company.
6. Practice Inclusion, Justice, and Flexibility
Inclusion, justice, and flexibility are concepts that were not a priority for companies not long ago. Also, many of them didn’t even consider them as necessary at all. Today, everything has changed for the better.
According to LearnG2, companies that practice the inclusion of racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns that are above the national median of their industry.
Also, inclusive companies have a higher cash flow per employee over a three-year period. This means that practicing inclusion in your company is critical for overall business growth.
What aspects do you need to take into consideration when it comes to inclusion?
Understanding, accepting, and valuing:
- Different races
- Sexual orientation
Moreover, accepting differences in education, personalities, skill sets, and backgrounds is an important part of inclusion.
According to a study conducted by NCBI, organizational injustice and effort-reward imbalance affect workability and role functioning.
Moreover, work injustice is a major factor that plays a role in high employee turnover rates. Therefore, a fair organizational structure, policies, and effort-reward balance are necessary to boost employee development in your company.
Flexibility is a concept that works both ways at work. Employees value flexible managers and managers value flexible employees.
A flexible employee will always be willing to go beyond or accept that task nobody wants to do without hesitating or complaining that it’s not their job. Also, they will be willing to learn new skills, take on different roles or spending extra time in the office.
It’s no surprise flexible employees need to have flexible managers. It’s a bilateral process where managers treat employees as individuals and are willing to adapt to their personal circumstances and needs.
When a manager is flexible, the way an employee achieves goals is usually not confined to a single method. A manager values creativity, suggestions, and more efficient ways to achieve the overall mission of the company.
In short, being flexible at work is a way to improve employee development in a company, as workers feel more like a part of a community where they are valued and praised for their efforts.
7. Keep Track of The Employee Development Progress
Companies keep track and deliver reports of their operations. If you want to have a functional employee development program, you will have to keep track of the results as well.
Mentoring meetings are perfect for giving and receiving feedback on different aspects of work. It’s important to let the employees know how much progress they’ve made and how they can achieve other goals in a determined time lapse.
If you are fond of technology, you can create a digital space for employees to complete information about their progress and goals to be achieved. By doing this, you can save time and human resources.
Once employees have completed their profiles, the meetings can take place so they can discuss and share ideas and experiences about their progress and also strategies to achieve other goals.
Employee Development is the Foundation for a Strong Company
Employee development is a hot topic today among HR leaders, managers, executives and experts in renowned HR conferences around the world. Why is employee development so important in today’s workforce?
In a study conducted by Payscale, 72% of young workers say that they value opportunities for learning and career advancement compared to older workers.
It is no secret that millennials will represent the majority of the workforce soon. According to SHRM, the majority of workers will be over 40 in the next 5 to 10 years. This means that employee development won’t be optional for companies anymore.
It is simple, employee development programs bring benefits to the company and the employees. On the one hand, workers feel more comfortable in a company, with many opportunities for career development, learning, and professional growth.
Now that you have a better understanding of the employee development process, you’re ready to follow the tips included in this post with the purpose of making your company a better place for your employees. By creating a functional, well-designed employee development program, you will keep the turnover rates low and attract new talents.