How to Encourage Employee Development (and Why It Matters)

What are you doing to help your employees grow in their careers?

In a 2021 Oracle workplace intelligence study, 75 per cent of respondents said they felt stuck in their professional lives. This clearly proves that a vast majority of employers aren’t doing much to help employees achieve their career development goals.

You probably have your own reasons. Perhaps your small business has limited resources. Maybe you even believe it’s not your responsibility to ensure employee development.

Here’s the thing: when workers are feeling stuck, there will be a negative effect on the overall performance of your organization.

If you’re wondering what you can do to promote employee growth, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more.

Why Encouraging Employee Development Matters

It’s possible that you don’t quite see the value in taking actionable steps to support employee development. If so, then you’re hurting your business.

Below are the three most impactful benefits of having an employee development plan.

Increase Employee Productivity

As an employer, you want all your workers to put in a proper shift every time they’re at work. Unfortunately, while most employees will strive to get the job done, they won’t always put their best foot forward.

Yes, you can fire unproductive employees, but you’ll soon realize replacing employees is expensive. It’s more cost-effective to find ways to improve employee productivity.

Providing career growth opportunities increases employee performance. Your people are more likely to be committed to their jobs when they know they’ll be rewarded with promotions.

Reduce Turnover Rate

Losing employees often is bad for business. There’s a decline in organizational productivity when you’re short-staffed. It also costs time and money to replace them.

You want to keep your turnover rate as low as possible. Encouraging employee development can help with that.

You see, lack of career progression is a major reason employees leave. They want to try their luck in other organizations that promise better prospects.

So, if you’re building a workplace that promotes career growth, your employees will have one less reason to quit.

Strengthen Your Employer Brand

75 percent of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before applying for a job. A weak or unfavourable employer brand will make it more difficult to attract the best talent.

Your commitment to supporting employee development is a key part of your employer’s brand. Nobody will want to work at your firm if they aren’t sure they’ll have advancement opportunities.

Therefore, if you want your organization to have a strong talent pull, you better start investing in employee growth.

How to Promote Employee Development in Your Organization

Now that you know some of the ways supporting employee development will help your business, let’s focus on how to get it done. Here are some of the most effective strategies:

Gather Your Employees’ Career Development Goals

Workers have different career development goals.

Some want to rise through the ranks and become executives. Others simply want to take on more challenging projects even if their job title remains the same for several years. And others want to transition into different career paths.

The only way to adequately support your employees’ development goals is to first understand what those goals are. You can hold one-on-one meetings or use an online survey.

You can also set goals for specific employees and teams. This simple goal setting tool will help you get started.

Implement Regular Training Programs

There’s always room for learning in any occupation.

While employees can pursue further studies, employers should also provide regular training opportunities. This helps your workers update their occupational knowledge and skills.

For employee training to be effective, start by conducting a knowledge and skills audit. Use the results to develop training programs that can address existing skills gaps.

In addition to offering in-house training opportunities, you can also support your employee’s external endeavors. For example, set up an education assistance program that helps employees pay for further studies.

Promote from Within

Providing opportunities for upward mobility helps foster a culture of employee development. Instead of bringing in new faces to fill leadership roles, promote from within. It will show your employees that you’re committed to providing progression opportunities.

If you’re worried that most of your employees don’t have what it takes to become leaders, create a leadership training or mentoring program. This will nurture some of your employees into leaders who can take your business to the next level.

Reward Learning in the Workplace

Is it okay if some members of your workforce are uninterested in career development?

While this can reduce the resources your organization invests in employee development programs, it’s not ideal when some workers have little interest in their development. Your organization is best served when everyone on the team wants to upskill and grow.

So, what can you do to encourage everyone to learn?

Reward learning and upskilling! Offering financial incentives, for example, can motivate your people to start learning and pursuing greater career goals.

Employee Development Is Beneficial to Your Business

It’s not just your employees who benefit when your business offers development opportunities. Your business will record increased productivity. It will also develop a stronger employer brand and gain a competitive edge.

As we have demonstrated, there are various strategies you can use to encourage employee development. Good luck and keep reading our blog for more business and workplace advice.