The development of employees can be a critical factor in organizational success. Why? Because if you don’t train employees and encourage career advancement, they leave. If you do invest in them, they stay.
That’s right: more than 90% of employees say they would stay longer with a company if they were offered learning and development opportunities. Additionally, employees who receive mentoring, training, and educational/certification opportunities become more productive, more engaged, and more likely to drive revenues.
Companies are starting to allocate more resources and budgets to developing employees, but 3 out of 4 workers still feel like a lack of development is holding them back. So, where do you start with an employee development program? Here are eight employee development tips to help get you started.
Employee Development Tip #1. The development plan
Creating a road map for your employees' future might help them visualize a long and rewarding career with your organization. Recognize that some employees are more focused on the short term and others on the long term, and ensure your program provides enough flexibility for individual plans to be tailored along a path aligned with your organizational goals.
Employee Development Tip #2. Key performance indicators
KPIs linked to performance objectives are critical to organizational planning and tracking employee growth. They show managers, the organization, and the employee if and where progress is being made, and help align employee development goals with broader organizational performance indicators. KPIs can also help with driving accountability on both the employee and employer sides.
Employee Development Tip #3. Job enrichment
Developing employees means leadership must commit to supporting activities for the purpose of fostering learning opportunities and growth. Job enrichment can consist of providing exposure to new skills, deepening existing skill bases, and allowing the creation of in-organization working groups to foster collaboration or committees to bolster employee-led initiatives.
Employee Development Tip #4. Cross-departmental exposure
Cross-training, job rotation, and job shadowing allow employees siloed in one part of the organization to more deeply understand the workings of the organization as a whole. This can provide employees with opportunities to broaden their skills and give them the chance to explore additional career opportunities within the company.
Employee Development Tip #5. Mentoring and coaching
Mentoring from the day an employee joins the team can help boost their chances of staying on and improve their job satisfaction. A mentor can be a peer in a similar role who has some tenure and knows how things work. 91% of employees with a mentor are likely to say they are satisfied with their job. Coaching is more focused on preparing an employee to move vertically or laterally within the organization and is typically conducted by a senior employee.
Employee Development Tip #6. Creating a people-first culture
Company culture is critical to employee development and retention. Higher-ups should lead by example, devoting time of their own to development, and leadership training should be made available to every employee. DEIB initiatives should also be promoted: 80% of employees say they would like to work in a company with a strong DEIB commitment.
Employee Development Tip #7. Two-way feedback
Employees need to hear when they are doing a good job as well as when they miss the mark - and should be afforded the same opportunity to communicate upward. Listening to employees is a great way to figure out where the employee development process is making a real difference in career trajectories and where it’s failing to provide specific skills training or support.
Employee Development Tip #8. Crosschq Analytics
Crosschq Analytics helps you keep your finger on your employees’ pulses at all times, so you know when discontent is stirring and can find ways to give workers what they need to feel motivated again.