Making strategic investments in employee development is essential to strengthen teams and ensure the sustainability of a company’s success. For business leaders, deciding which investments are the most vital and the most relevant has never been so difficult.
For businesses, training spending in the United States cost $ 70.65 billion in 2016, and much of that cost is wasted when employers ignore the specific needs of the business and its employees. all levels of experience and positions. Here are some effective ways to encourage employee development and strengthen your team.
Encourage lifelong learning
Encourage continuous learning to further develop the potential of each employee. Knowledge transfer is intrinsic to business success, as employees learn from each other.
Cross-training can take place in various departments, sometimes with surprising results – including administration, operations, sales, customer service, and marketing. While employees expect to learn on their own on the job, they may feel at a loss as to what to pursue. Cross-training will help build team spirit and provide flexibility when employees need someone to take on their responsibilities. It also gives employees more confidence to help coworkers when they are stuck on an issue.
If an employee expresses interest in additional skills, encourage them rather than letting an employee stagnate in boredom while performing the same tasks every day. Also encourage employees to pursue hobbies and personal interests to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Co-create paths to success with employees
Leaders can provide a primary source of knowledge for employees who don’t want to wait forever for opportunities to develop. Push employees to grow outside their comfort zones and to innovate and experiment. Offer more than words of support and get involved through direct mentoring and outlining milestones and paths to success for employees.
Create one-year, five-year and ten-year career paths with your employees, providing opportunities for tuition reimbursement if they need more education in addition to continuing on-the-job training . Tuition reimbursement programs offer a significant return on investment. Take Cigna, for example, which recovers a dollar and saves an additional $ 1.29 in reduced recruiting and turnover costs for every dollar invested in tuition reimbursement.
It builds confidence when employees feel your direct involvement in their career path. Your employees will know that you are invested in their future beyond what you can get out of it before burnout occurs.
Small Opportunities Offer Major Growth Opportunities
Give employees plenty of opportunities to take risks and come up with new ideas. It also teaches them how to back up their ideas with evidence and research. Representing the company at a conference, trade show, or client meeting seems like a waste of gas at first, but the truth is, such small opportunities mean a lot to employees. They also get networking opportunities for professional and corporate benefit.
These little gifts give employees more confidence and make them feel that they matter in their work.
Provide regular feedback
Each year, you call employees to one-on-one meetings for annual reviews, discussing improvements and praising positive contributions. Giving constructive criticism seems the most difficult because you want to encourage your employees without discouraging them.
The truth is, employees need more feedback on the job. Soon, millennials will be the largest cohort in the workforce, and they want regular feedback at work. More constructive and positive feedback for all professionals cultivates openness in the workplace.
Often, frequent comments end after an employee âgets their feet wetâ after training. Leaders leave employees alone to complete the tasks at hand – and if they’re done, what does it matter? But remember that communication is vital for any relationship. Offer regular feedback to increase employee accountability and productivity.
Increase team building efforts
A positive work culture is an often overlooked commodity that employees look for when looking for a job, and it also helps to retain employees over time. A negative work culture does not motivate anyone to do their job well or to encourage effective communication.
Increase team building efforts to increase productivity, build skills, and increase retention rates. Remember, 40% of disgruntled employees quit their jobs, and disengaged workers cost businesses between $ 450 and $ 550 each, each year. Take the time to engage team members with each other and have fun.
Don’t let employee potential stagnate. Encourage lifelong learning and co-create paths to success with your employees, for example through tuition reimbursement programs. Even small growth opportunities reinforce the fact that you believe in your employees, and this feeling of trust is extremely important for employee retention and development. So offer regular feedback and team building opportunities.
The return on investment is vast and knowing that you have a direct hand in the positive personal and professional growth of your employees is very gratifying. Your efforts will build trust and a loyal team that is committed to the success of the business.