Employee development: A key to success
January 18, 2024
In the busy world of business, where good days and tough times happen regularly, it’s worth thinking about what really keeps success going. 2 decades in the corporate world taught me that the key is investing in your most valuable asset, your employees. A huge 94% of employees are willing to stick around longer with a company that supports their professional journey, according to LinkedIn. This isn’t just a trend; it’s a whole new way of looking at things.
The Power of Investing in Employees
We know how important it is to invest in the growth and development of my employees. They are the backbone of any company, and their skills, knowledge, and potential are the key drivers of our success. That’s why I recommend employee development as a strategic priority for my clients as well as apply it in my organization. I want to share with you some of the insights I have gained along the way.
Employee development is more than just providing training courses or workshops. It is a holistic and continuous process of enhancing the abilities and competencies of individuals, aligning them with the organization’s goals and values, and creating a culture of learning and improvement. Employee development is not only beneficial for the employees themselves, but also for the organization as a whole.
Make Employee Development a Priority
According to a global survey conducted among employees, the majority of respondents believed learning is a key to success in their career. Moreover, 86% of employees said they would switch jobs for one with more chances to grow. This shows that employee development is a crucial factor for attracting and retaining talent in a competitive market. On the other hand, companies that invested in people development and coaching saw a 58% increase in retention, a 24% higher profit margin3, and a 250% return on investment4. These statistics demonstrate that development of employees is not only a cost, but also an investment that pays off in the long run.
In my experience, one of the most effective ways to foster employee development is through feedback. Constructive feedback can help employees understand their strengths and areas for improvement, enabling them to make informed decisions about their career path. Feedback is a Catalyst for Growth, it motivates employees to perform better, as they receive recognition for their achievements and guidance for their areas of development.
Moreover, stretched projects have proven to be a powerful tool for employee development. By assigning teams tasks that are slightly beyond their current capabilities, we encourage them to step out of their comfort zone and acquire new skills. Stretched projects can also boost a team’s confidence, as they overcome challenges and learn from their mistakes.
Employee Development: More than Just Courses
Aligning with Organizational Values and Goals Training is an essential part of employee development, but it’s not the only aspect. In fact, according to recent statistics, 59% of employees claim they are self-taught. This highlights the importance of creating a learning culture where employees are encouraged to take ownership of their development. A learning culture can foster curiosity, innovation, and collaboration among employees, as they seek new knowledge and share their insights with others.
Strategic Alignment for Success:
Aligning employee development with organizational values and goals is crucial. When employees understand how their work contributes to the organization’s success, they are more likely to stay engaged and committed. Aligning development of employees with organizational values and goals can also help employees find meaning and purpose in their work, as they see how they are making a positive impact on the organization and society.
Common Myths and Realities About Employee Development
Despite these benefits, some people still have some doubts and reservations about employee development. Here are some of the common myths and misconceptions, and why they are not true:
Myth: Employee development is too expensive and time-consuming.
Reality: Employee development is an investment, not a cost. The return on investment of development can be measured by the improvement in performance, productivity, innovation, and customer satisfaction. Employee development can also save money by reducing turnover, absenteeism, and errors. It does not have to take a lot of time and resources; there are many ways to make learning flexible, convenient, and accessible, such as online courses, micro-learning, and peer-to-peer learning.
Myth: Employee development is only for high-potential employees or new hires.
Reality: It is for everyone, regardless of their level, role, or tenure. Every employee has the potential to learn and grow, and every employee needs to keep up with the changing demands and expectations of their job. Employee development can help employees stay relevant, motivated, and engaged in their work. It can also help employees prepare for future opportunities and challenges, such as career transitions, promotions, or new projects.
Myth: Employee development is the responsibility of the HR department or the managers.
Reality: Employee development is a shared responsibility between the employees, the managers, and the organization. The employees are responsible for taking charge of their own learning, setting their own goals, seeking and applying feedback, and monitoring and celebrating their progress. The managers are responsible for creating a culture of learning, providing opportunities and resources for learning, giving constructive and timely feedback, and recognizing and rewarding achievements. The organization is responsible for providing a vision and a strategy for team development, aligning and integrating development, training, and performance, and measuring and evaluating the impact and outcomes of employee development.
The Impact of Employee Development
The benefits of investing in people development are clear. Companies with comprehensive employee training programs have 218% higher income per employee. Furthermore, when employees receive the training they need, companies are 17% more productive. These numbers show how employee development can enhance the quality and efficiency of work, as employees apply their skills and knowledge to their tasks.
Conclusion: Revealing Your Secret to Success
In essence, employee development is the special ingredient boosting skills, knowledge, and performance. It’s not just a checklist; it’s at the heart of managing human resources. From improving technical skills to promoting personal growth, it shapes individuals and transforms organizations.
As a managerial leader:
Be a coach, a mentor, a facilitator, and a cheerleader for your team. You need to provide them with the vision, the support, the feedback, and the recognition that they need. You need to empower them to take charge of their own development, and to pursue their own passions and potentials.
As an employee:
It’s essential to be a learner, a performer, a leader, and a contributor for your organization. You need to take advantage of the opportunities, resources, and tools that are available to you. Seek and accept feedback, and to act on it. You need to challenge yourself, and to stretch your limits. Share your knowledge, skills, and experiences with others, and to learn from them.
Employee development is not a destination, but a journey. A journey that is full of surprises, challenges, and rewards. A journey that is unique for each individual, and yet shared by the whole organization.
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