Not only is it essential to survey your employees to know and understand the actual responses to these kinds of questions, but it’s equally important to take action on their responses and to continually improve the employee experience.
Ninety-four percent of employees say they would stay at their company longer if it invested in their career development. Considering this high percentage and the time, productivity, and cost of losing an employee, it’s clear that you can’t afford to overlook (or ignore) employee development.
Employee development and experience
Ask yourself if you focus on developing your employees and is there an actual plan or system your employees can refer to. Employee development is so much more than just training your employees.
What is employee development?
Employee development is giving employees opportunities to develop their skills through focused coaching and training on areas of opportunity and needed improvement.
Checklist of opportunities for employee development
The following 10 checklist items will get you on track with providing development opportunities for your employees.
1. Regular coaching and feedback
Withholding feedback hurts both you and your employee. Ask employees how they prefer to receive constructive feedback, and then deliver it.
2. On-the-job training
Make sure your employees have the training necessary to be confident and effective in their roles.
3. Don't ignore soft skills
Soft skills are the traits that make someone a good employee. Be sure to provide coaching on these skills while being careful to not let personal preferences stifle an employee’s personality, point of view, or different approach to a situation.
4. Mentorship with company leaders
This is a quick, yet meaningful, way to make employees feel cared for and invested in. Pairing an employee with a different company leader will provide exposure to different perspectives, experiences, and management styles.
5. Cross-department training
Exposing employees to different areas of the business makes them well-rounded while giving them a better understanding of the business. Plus, you never know what a fresh set of eyes may uncover.
7. Industry/skill conference
These types of conferences are full of actionable learnings from subject matter experts. They’re also a great way to network and learn from professionals in similar capacities at other companies.
8. Employee recognition
Employees who do not feel adequately recognized are two times as likely to quit in the next year. Gallup recommends frequent employee recognition that aligns with the purpose, brand, and culture of the company.
9. Online courses
Training doesn’t have to break the bank. Thousands of online courses are available for every industry and skill on websites for free or at a discount for entire companies.
TIP: Curious what's out there? See which online course providers are currently on the market to make an informed decision for your employees!
10. Increased responsibilities
As your employees excel in their roles, provide them with additional responsibilities to learn and grow.
Use these as you work toward building a formal, guided employee development program or enlisting the assistance of an employee training and development company.
How important is developing your employees?
You might ask isn’t it up to the employee to take initiative and propel their career forward? Well of course there has to be initiative and desire from the employee. However, the company can (and should) play a large part in helping guide, support, and amplify this.
Employee development is at the core of the employee experience. It is ongoing without having a set time to it. Every employee will vary in their rate of skill development and job responsibility, but it’s up to the company, especially the manager, to help nurture and guide them through.
Employee development impacts employee engagement
There are an endless number of employee engagement studies and statistics online. What do these studies say about employee development and how it relates to employee engagement?
Managers are the biggest influencer of an employee’s workplace happiness, frustration, or downright misery. Thus, the manager-employee relationship is the most important relationship to build and nurture. Managers should make time for their employees to learn, stress the importance of continued learning, and make this a talking point in their one-on-one meetings. This will help employees feel empowered to invest in their personal growth and learning each week.
Employee engagement impacts employee and business performance
Highly-engaged teams show 21 percent greater profitability while achieving a 10 percent increase in customer ratings and 20 percent increase in sales. Therefore, engaged employees directly impact the bottom line of a company.
Employees that are highly engaged at work are 87 percent more likely to stay at their companies than their less engaged counterparts. Over $11 billion is lost annually due to employee turnover, which means that there are huge cost, time, and resource savings in retaining your employees.
Don’t delay in growing and investing in your employees. As you do this, your employees will grow and progress within your organization. When this isn’t the case, it can be disappointing to see a loyal employee spread their wings and explore new adventures elsewhere.
However, when this does happen, be satisfied in knowing you and your company played a key role in helping them achieve their potential and accomplish their career ambitions. It’s also rewarding to look back and see the impact the employee had on your company as they grew and developed there.
Check out G2's extensive breakdown of training and development companies to help you stay on top of the best opportunities for your employees' increased learning, development, and growth.
Garret is the Head of SEO and Content Optimization at Qualtrics. Qualtrics is the leader in Experience Management (XM), helping the world's best brands close experience gaps and deliver breakthrough results. Prior to Qualtrics he spent his career managing content and SEO for companies with 1,000+ locations in the storage and wireless industries. Outside of work, he enjoys hanging with his family and spending as much time as possible in the beautiful Utah mountains.