What is your employee development strategy to retain talent?

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Dany Holbrook, Senior People Scientist at Culture Amp, explains how organizations can create an effective employee development strategy.

Like their counterparts around the world, organizations in Southeast Asia continue to feel the impact of the Great Resignation as employees seek better career opportunities that match their priorities in life.

To attract and retain top talent in an ever-changing world of work, HR leaders need to recognize that the opportunity to learn and develop new skills and abilities is now the primary reason most people join an organization and why they will stay there. , suggested Mervyn Dinnen, HR trends and talent analyst.

Speaking at May’s HR Tech Festival Asia 2022, which looked at key workforce trends in Asia, he added: “Learning and development (L&D) should increasingly be a part of of the hiring process, ensuring that all candidates are aware of their opportunities for growth and development should they join, and being open about approaching internal mobility.

In addition to helping foster more engaged and motivated workers, an effective employee development strategy offers employees the opportunity to learn new skills and improve existing ones, and perform at a higher level.

When these employees see a willingness to invest in them, they are also more likely to reciprocate with increased loyalty and better performance. And, as Dinnen suggested, organizations can then identify and nurture future leaders while paving the way for employees to advance their careers within the organization, an increasingly important criterion in talent retention. .

According to Mercer’s COVID-19 survey, limited career advancement is a top reason companies in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines are struggling to attract and retain talent.

In addition to compensation, employees are now motivated by factors such as company culture, work-life balance, flexibility and opportunities for progression. Forward-thinking companies, Mercer said, are turning to non-monetary measures such as increased employee engagement, flexible work arrangements, training and development, and job enrichment and redesign.

Clearly, employees who don’t feel like their organization contributes to their development or provides opportunities for career advancement are less likely to be engaged and more likely to leave.

Between March 2020 and March 2021, nearly half of the 10,000 employees left their organization due to a lack of development opportunities, according to exit survey responses Culture Amp studied.

Dany Holbrook, Senior People Scientist, Culture Amp, told HRM Asia: “If we add up all the reasons that can be resolved by having development conversations about career opportunities, career change, learning and development and role fit, that equates to 48% so essentially half of all employees leave due to lack of development.

Highlighting why organizations should prioritize employee development, she revealed that employees who disagree that their company can make a meaningful contribution to their development are twice as likely to leave; for those who strongly disagree, they are 2.5 times more likely to leave than average.

How to Foster Engaging and Effective Employee Development

To reduce attrition, organizations must foster engaging and effective employee development that balances the needs and wants of employees and the business.

Holbrook explained, “Wherever possible, employee development should ideally be in a ‘sweet spot’ that intersects with business needs and alignment; individual aspirations, motivations and passion; and the skills and strengths of individuals.

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“Whenever possible, employee development should ideally be in a ‘sweet spot’ that intersects with business needs and alignment; individual aspirations, motivations and passion; and the skills and strengths of individuals. – Dany Holbrook, Senior Human Resources Researcher, Culture Amp

Individual development should be personalized, flexible and dynamic to meet the development needs of employees at different stages of their career. “It could be one or a mixture of develop for now (role mastery), develop for the future (career growth), or develop for interest or passion (still usually job or role related),” she said.

She also highlighted the importance of coaching and guidance in the context of employee development. Individuals should be guided by ongoing coaching by a manager or coach, who can connect ideas, provide context and help break down the steps.

To simultaneously drive intentional behavior for managers and individuals, the process must be enabled through tools and content. However, organizations need to consider what their employees need and when, and support them without overwhelming them with options and content.

Finally, employee development should be amplified through timely, specific, and actionable feedback that includes space for personal and framed reflection. “Research shows that thinking is most effective when it involves others, which enables collaboration, change, and the determination of new ways of working,” Holbrook added.

In order to provide an easy and guided approach to employment development, Culture Amp offers Developa solution that guides employees through a two-part workflow, the first of which helps them identify their motivations and demotivations, before reflecting on their strengths and future career aspirations.

In the second part of the workflow, they refine their development goal, choose specific development areas, and are guided toward setting clear, achievable, and measurable goals.

In particular, this collaborative, science-backed workflow helps managers have meaningful growth conversations with their direct reports, enables them to better understand what motivates employees, and identify development opportunities.

A successful employment development strategy starts with managers

As a liaison between employees and senior management, line or direct supervisors oversee the work performed by employees and play a key role in retaining and developing talent.

According to Culture Amp, direct reports are twice as likely to leave in the next 12 months if a manager shows a lack of interest in their career. Employees who are supported by their managers to develop skills that match their interests are also likely to be more engaged (80%) than those (34%) who develop skills in which they have little interest.

With many managers dealing with a hybrid workforce today, communication is critically important.

READ: Attracting new talent by evolving the employee experience

Organizations can empower managers to have better development conversations with employees by providing a guided experience that’s enabled through tools and content. Culture amp Developfor example, is designed to empower managers and employees to have high-quality growth conversations, set personalized development goals, and establish a clear and motivating action plan.

When reviewing planning and initiating development planning within the organization, HR and L&D can help managers prepare for development conversations by providing guidance and providing quick access to documents which will be provided to their direct reports.

Next, they should ensure managers are comfortable with the processes involved in FAQs, conversation guides, and enablement sessions, before introducing targeted manager learning. “This includes more specific skills practice for coaching skills, as well as more difficult conversation topics such as the mismatch between what employees have outlined in their development plan and what managers think they should be about. focus,” Holbrook said.

To reinforce and solidify plans, she also recommended individual tools or conversation guides that help develop the coaching and feedback skills managers need to support employment development initiatives across the organization. .

To find out how you can develop and retain your staff with scientific tools that promote personalized and continuous growth, click on here.

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