This is a guest post by Suman Agarwal.
Whenever an organisation decides to cut costs, the first thing to go out of the window, it seems, is employee training and development. But ideally, employee development should be a company’s first priority. It is an investment that always yields a high return. Here’s why:
- Employee development results in engaged and happier employees. This directly results in improved productivity.
- It makes the employees feel valued. And this improves employee stickiness and employee retention rate.
- Employee development programs are great for attracting top talent.
6 Ways to Boost Employee Development
1. Ensure Continuous Learning
Gone are the days when a single learning and development program stayed relevant for years. Now the training programs usually have a short shelf life and employees must be trained on different programs every 3 to 6 months to help them stay updated with the changing market and technology trends. Not only will it boost employee engagement but will also give them the confidence that their organisation is seriously dedicated towards their growth. This eventually results in employee stickiness. So, create a continuous learning culture, here are a few things you must do:
- Create a peer-to-peer learning culture.
- Market the learning programs to build employees’ interest.
- Create easy online modules so that the training isn’t burdensome for the employees.
- Use a reward system to encourage continuous learning.
2. Invest in Corporate Training
Earlier, employees’ performance was gauged on 3 R’s – reading, writing, and arithmetic. However, these skills are not enough to succeed anymore. Due to the rapidly changing business landscape, employees now need to be trained in various aspects including leadership, critical thinking, networking, relationship building, etc. This helps in bridging the human skill gap and makes the employees feel positive and confident. Here are a few other benefits of corporate training:
- It increases employees’ loyalty towards the organisation.
- It improves employee productivity.
- It promotes easier conflict resolution.
- It eventually decreases the need for constant supervision, and many others.
3. Give Appraisals
Giving appraisals is a way to assess the employees’ contribution to the organisation’s growth. So, before giving appraisals, it is important to set quantitative metrics to understand where your employees stand and what more can they realistically achieve. And based on their performance, they must be rewarded. Here are some benefits of appraisals:
- The appraisal meeting gives employers an opportunity to give as well as receive feedback. This may help in uncovering issues and taking corrective measures.
- It is a great opportunity to set goals and develop a plan to achieve them.
- It improves internal communication.
- Appraisals have a huge impact on employee stickiness.
4. Offer Customised Learning
The development of employees is almost impossible with the one-size-fits-all approach. Hence, employers should develop customised learning solutions for their employees. So, assess your employees’ strengths, skills, and future goals and create a structured plan for each employee. Moreover, to ensure that the learning is flexible, offer them programs that can be accessed on mobile phones and tablets. If needed, conduct workshops on using technology for training purposes.
5. Schedule Regular Company Meetings
While one-on-one review meetings are critical to employees’ development, regular company meetings encourage inter-department interaction. Company meetings help the staff come together and brainstorm about technology, finances, regulatory issues, products, development, etc. Here are a few benefits:
- Company meetings allow 360-degree growth of employees.
- They help employees understand if they are a better fit for a different role within the organisation. For example, a supply professional may be inclined towards marketing and may want to pursue it.
- Interaction builds trust within the organisation.
- When appreciated in front of all the employees in a company meeting, professionals feel motivated to perform even better.
6. Allow Networking and Mentoring
Your employees should have access to senior managers, industry leaders, or individuals who can inspire others. Frequent sessions must be conducted with these industry experts who can help employees learn a thing or two about how to get to the top. This not only lays for them a roadmap to achieving bigger things in life but also motivates them to drive change.
To ensure that you get maximum return on the training strategies you employ, understand the latest trends and customise your plan accordingly. An efficient strategy will help your employees and the organisation grow continuously.
About the Guest Post Author:
An award-winning Image Management Professional, Suman Agarwal has helped students, home-makers, women on sabbatical as well as people seeking second career alternatives to explore Image Management and Soft Skill Training as a vibrant professional choice. She frequently writes blog posts about the urgent need of image consulting professionals and soft skill trainers in the 21st century and loves guiding people in exploring lucrative career options. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org to seek advanced career guidance.