An investment in employee development is an investment in your company’s future.
Technology is changing the landscape of talent management. Employees finally have the resources to take a more active approach to their own professional development and continued learning. Along with these changes to talent management come new challenges to HR professionals.
The risk of ignoring the changing training and development landscape is greater than it was just ten years ago. According to research from ExecuSearch, more than 80% of employees would quit their jobs for better development opportunities. It’s more important than ever to emphasize employee development to both train and retain top talent.
What is employee development?
Employee development is the process by which an employee seeks training outside of work to enhance their current skills and acquire new ones. This is often done with the support and encouragement of the employee’s current employer.
A more competitive job market forces employees to look for a way to keep themselves relevant. If an employee cannot find the development opportunities they desire at your company, there isn’t a lot stopping them from finding a new job that will.
Why is employee development important?
There are two major changes happening in the workforce right now that are driving the future of talent management – employee age demographics and technology. As these two factors continue on an upward trajectory, companies that refuse to innovate will be left in the dust.
The millennial generation has already shown their preference for more flexible career options and they aren’t holding any punches when it comes to their personal development either. The Bureau of Labor statistics reports that older employees are more likely to stay in a position longer than their younger counterparts.
So, what does that add up to? Younger employees are increasingly dominating the talent market with no signs of slowing down. These employees are more likely than their older counterparts to leave a company that doesn’t invest in their professional development.
That means your outdated HR practices and a refusal to invest in employee development could not only be driving away your current talent, it could be scaring away new talent.
Investing in employee development is a long-term investment for your company. It’s your job as an HR professional to stay ahead of the trends and know which direction the future of recruiting and talent management is headed.
The benefit of investing in your employees isn’t just in the people you keep. There’s money to be made. An article from the Huffington Post cites research from The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), both of which claim the money invested in employee development is returned with interest:
According to their research, companies that have 218 percent higher income per employee than those with less comprehensive training, enjoy a 24 percent higher profit margin than those who spend less on training, and, generate a 6 percent higher shareholder return if the training expenditure per employee increases by $680.
There’s money to be made in employee development. You not only save money by not having to replace the employees that leave as a result of poor training options, you reap the benefits of their willingness to work harder to succeed.
Don’t wait five years for larger companies to set the standard. The changing talent market means that companies need to be more agile and risk-tolerant than they’ve been in the past.
How to encourage employee development
If you’ve never created an employee development program before, you’re probably wondering where to even start. While creating an effective plan for employee development can take time, there are steps you can take to get things started:
How to create an employee development plan:
Get management on board with promoting professional development
Incentivize your employees to take part in training and continued education
Provide the correct resources for your employees (online learning options, career development plans, etc.)
Incorporate a mentorship program into your training programs
Encourage cross departmental training and mentoring
The most important thing to keep in mind when planning how you’re going to invest in your employee development is how you’re going to track everything. There will likely be countless programs, software licenses, contracts, and more to keep track of you. You’ll want to make sure you have the correct software on your side.
Investing in the correct employee training management software can help avoid stressors and common mistakes associated with launching a new employee development strategy. If you don’t already have an employee development software, you may consider exploring your options.
HR Professionals, looking to make employee development a priority for your organization?
School is back in session
Life-long learning is becoming the most important thing to today’s employees. Ask yourself how you and your company are making employee development a priority for your workforce. Are you leading the pack, or are your competitors schooling you?
Lauren is a Content Marketing Manager at G2. You can find her work featured on CNBC, Yahoo Finance, and on the G2 Learning Hub. In her free time, Lauren enjoys watching true crime shows and spending time in the Chicago karaoke scene. (she/her/hers)