Employees are essential to a company’s operations. That’s why businesses invest a lot of time and effort into hiring top talent. Ultimately, the more education, skills, and experience a candidate has, the more value they add to the productivity and success of an organization. While the concept is accurate in theory, if an employee doesn’t keep up with the constant evolution of the business landscape, their usefulness declines over time.
Why Employee Development Matters
Think about it. If you hired a secretary back when typewriters and landlines were prevalent, how would they navigate using computers and virtual communication platforms? As technologies, innovations, laws, and consumer needs change, you need employees that can adapt. Through their improved development, they acquire new skills and knowledge that help them do their jobs more efficiently and improve the bottom line.
Getting Employees On Board
While you better understand why employee development is essential, how do you get employees on board? On the surface, taking professional or educational courses and training seems like more work, discouraging employees from getting involved. Believe it or not, you have several options to motivate your staff to evolve. Continue reading for suggestions.
One-on-One Strategy Sessions
Sometimes, employees need guidance on what path to take to evolve professionally. They may know what they want to do but aren’t sure about the available opportunities or steps to reach their goals. Having guidance from management, human resource personnel, or high-level execs can make a big difference. Schedule an annual career development strategy session with each of your employees. Discuss their goals and help them map out a plan to get from one point to the next. Follow-up throughout the year to address any concerns and track their progress.
Advertise Promotion Opportunities
When you have vacancies that need to be filled, advertise or promote in-house first. When employees are aware of opportunities to move up the ladder and earn more money, they’re more inclined to invest in their development. Whether that means getting a college degree, enrolling in a training course, or participating in professional seminars, they’ll be inspired to put themselves in the best position to land the promotion.
Offer Raises Or Other Benefits
Employees love higher earnings and perks on the job. It boosts their morale, enhances performance, and accelerates productivity. So, why not use these strategies to encourage them to participate in development opportunities?
For instance, you could offer a $500 a year raise to employees that earn college credits. Another example might be to provide paid time off to every employee that completes an online training course. Who wouldn’t sit through an interactive training program if it means having a day off next week?
If an employee has to find development opportunities, schedule time off, provide their own transportation, and make arrangements for their families every time they want to evolve, it can present some challenges. Employers can encourage their staff to invest in their development by making opportunities more accessible. Collaborate with outside agencies or pay trainers and experts to provide education on the premises so employees can participate easily.
It’s nice to get recognized when you invest your time, energy, and sometimes, money into employee development opportunities. Show your staff that you appreciate their commitment by giving them the recognition they deserve. Whether it’s getting a badge or micro-credential for completing courses, receiving an award, making an announcement, etc., it encourages them to continue evolving.
Your business can only go as far as your employees’ education, skills, and experience. While you’ve put a lot of time, resources, and money into hiring top talent, you must continue to invest in their development. When employees constantly learn and enhance their skills, they can quickly adapt to the ever-changing business climate. If you want your team to continue going the distance, the above suggestions will motivate them to continue learning how to put their best foot forward.