If you have landed on this page, then you possibly already have a hunch that employee development is very important.
As startups keep cropping up around the world, it is getting difficult for existing companies to hold onto their skilled employees. People leave an organization for a plethora of reasons, and a lack of career development is one of the reasons amongst them.
Individuals today not just want good pay and great benefits. They want professional development and support from companies to reach their professional goals. In this article, we will see how employee development can solve for that.
What is employee development?
Employee development, in simple words, can be explained as the recognition and execution of training and development activities for increasing employee skills. Everyone wants to learn. The question is, as a company, are you providing the opportunity for your people to learn and improve their skills?
Now that we understand what employee development is, let's understand why it is important. Here are 5 reasons why it is crucial for a company.
1. Increases the chances of retention
When a company offers its people opportunities to learn and grow themselves, it makes the employees feel valued at work. If the person is also paid well, given an opportunity to grow and feels valued at work, they will likely continue to stick around and stay invested in the growing company.
2. Improves productivity
Effective employee development programs ensure that they focus on the areas that can not just teach existing teams new skills, but also enhance complementary skills. This, when executed well, will result in better productivity of the employee for the company.
3. Boosts team morale
A good employee development program considers the skill levels of each person within a team and tweaks the training to focus on developing them in a way that they can work in sync with the rest of their team members. When all the people in a particular team have complementary skills, they tend to support each other on a day-to-day basis easily as well as be better teammates for each other to work with. This will eventually lead to better results for the company as well.
4. Better employee engagement
Your HR teams are trying hard to find great ways to keep teams engaged better at work. A good training program that your people may be interested in can do wonders in terms of employee engagement at a company. As explained in the other benefits, these development opportunities do not have to be just focused on their core skills. It can focus on skills that everyone in the company might be interested to learn, like soft skills.
5. Optimization of time
As a business, you know that (especially in the knowledge work area) there will be times when some of your people might not have enough work on their hands to keep them occupied. In these situations, it would help to have long term employee development plans in place. That way, you would have trained teams to work on other complementary skills. You could also assign them to work on areas where they can use their time in a better way as well as contribute to more revenue for the company.
For example, you can train a QA engineer to become a scrum master, so when you no longer require any QA work, you can work with the employee to fill the scrum master role.
Employee Development Methods
There are a lot of employee development methods that a company can use for their training programs. Here are a few ideas:
In this method, a coach, who has experience in a particular field or skill, works with a coachee to guide to effectively achieve that new skill.
In this method, a mentor, who is an experienced individual, shares their knowledge with the mentee based on their previous experiences of doing their work, which helps the mentee enhance their current skills in a better way.
3. Cross training
In this method, the company can pair people from different departments or locations to work together, so each one of them learns from the other. This will not just improve employees' appreciation of the other job roles, but also help them work together in a better way.
4. Job rotations
Similar to cross-training, the company can seek the interests of their employees and encourage them to shadow or work on smaller projects in other roles. This will help them improve their skills overall and provide them with more opportunities in the future.
How to create an employee development plan?
Once you have identified the need to create an employee development program, then these would be the main steps:
- Research and identify employee skills gap as well as interest for learning new skills.
- Identify appropriate methods for making the skills available to these employees.
- Create a series of opportunities for employees to learn these skills by providing them with the right tools like books, mentors, learning platforms, etc.
- Encourage and reward people who take up development opportunities to upskill themselves.
Now that you know why employee development is important, it's time to think about how you can get started in the workplace. Learn more to drive actionable coaching conversations with the best performance management software out there.