To be successful in any industry, companies must constantly innovate and evolve to stay ahead of the curve. The same applies to professionals. To stay fit and relevant, employees must continually develop their skillsSkills. manufacturingemployee developmenta priority in yourcorporate cultureensures your team stays well-informed on industry trends and best practices, and equipped with new skills. Not only that, but offering professional development opportunities is a boostemployee engagementand attracts the best talent.
So what exactly is employee development and why should you care? Read on to learn the benefits and how you can seamlessly integrate a people development plan into your organization.
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Table of contents
- What is employee development?
- Why is employee development important?
- How to create a strong employee development plan
- Examples of employee development
What is employee development?
Employee development – often referred to as professional development or people development – is the process by which employees, with the support of their employer, pursue professional training or learning opportunities to improve their skills and expand their knowledge and careers.
Definition of employee development
Employee development is the process by which employees, with the support of their employer, pursue professional training or learning opportunities to improve their skills and expand their knowledge and careers.
Professional development is not just about optimizing a person's skills for a specific role. Rather, it refers to continuous learning that nurtures professionals and helps them growindividual career paths. While it is ultimately the individual's responsibility to take charge of their own professional development, it is in the employer's interest to encourage continuing education by providing or facilitating both internal and external learning opportunities.
Prioritizing people development ensures team members' skills evolve in line with industry trends and best practices. Think of medical professionals who need to retake board certification exams every few years to ensure their skills are still up to par.
Why is employee development important?
Employers who invest in people development help their employees hone their strengths and expand their skills, making them better equipped for their current roles. This increases the value of their work and directly benefits the company.
Benefits of professional development
- Improves employee engagement.
- Increases retention.
- Attracts top applicants.
- Increases productivity.
- Helps employees reach their full potential.
- Increases profit.
But perhaps even more powerful is the value employees and job seekers place when considering offers of development opportunities. Make learning and development a prioritycorporate culturehelpsimprove employee engagement,increase retentionand attract elite candidates. Take a look at these six reasons that further prove why employee development matters.
1. Employees want career growth
Nobody wants a dead end jobat a company that doesn't value its employees. A record number of employees have left their jobs in search of better work-life balance, pay and benefits, which has been described as thatGreat resignation. Another reason employees leave their jobs is a lack of professional development opportunities. in oneFall 2021 reportAt Monster, 45 percent of employees surveyed said they would be more likely to stay in their current job if they were offered more training. Develop your employees' careers and they will reward you with improved performance and higher employee retention.
2. Receive professional development benefits
Employee development is a long-term investment that can helpKeep and develop your talent. More than4 million US workersare quitting their jobs in June 2022, and40 percentof people surveyed in six countries in 2022 said they plan to quit their job. Therefore, it is more important than ever to devote resources to employee retention.
3. Employees need professional development to reach their full potential
AfterClearCompany, 74 percent of employees say a lack of professional development prevents them from realizing their full potential. This leaves many employees feeling undervalued and underdeveloped, which inevitably leads to a demotivated workforce and high turnover rates.Investment in staff developmentallows your talents to feel comfortable building their skills and learning opportunities can translate into integral promotions that allow you to retain top talent.
4. Employees stay with companies that invest in human resource development
It is said that if companies invested in personnel development, 94 percent of employees would stay longerClearCompany. Personnel development is an attractiveemployee benefit. If you don't start investing in your team and developing your people,You will find someone who will.
5. Employees in training are more productive
Learning and development opportunitiesimprove productivity. It's that simple. Enabling employees to build their skills and knowledge boosts their confidence and allows them to do their jobs more efficiently and effectivelyAs a matter of fact.
6. Companies that invest in employee development are more profitable
Employees who participate in professional development are not only more productive, employee development also increases profitability.Research from MIT Sloan School of Managementshowed that an employer is a year longSoft SkillsTraining program resulted in a return on investment of around 250 percent within eight months. Upskilling could add up to $6.5 trillion to global GDP by 2030, according to aPost 2021by the World Economic Forum in cooperation with the international services company PricewaterhouseCoopers.
More on career developmentCareer Growth and Career Development: What's the Difference?
How to create a strong employee development plan
As employers struggle to retain talent, investing in employee development is a way to show your employees that you care about their growth. If you don't currently have oneprofessional development planit's time to implement a people development plan for your team.
Creating a successful employee development plan
- Assess your business and your long-term goals.
- Create employee-specific development plans.
- Offer development opportunities.
- Rate your efforts and ask for feedback.
It's critical to customize the plan to reflect your unique workforce. Your industry and employee size will be driving forces, but learning styles, preferences, subject matter and accessibility are also factors to consider. If the professional development opportunities you offer do not appeal to or benefit your employees, they will lose interest and disengage from the program.
Use the following guidelines to implement an employee development plan in your organization.
SStep1:Assess your business and your long-term goals
Before you can put any plan into action, you need to compare your current workforce and organization to the future you envision. Take stock of how your people and teams work today. Then consider what might need to change to move forward and what challenges might arise along the way.
A successful plan should achievethree main goals. First, you should aim to provide opportunities that meet the individual desires of your employees. This is a strategic oneplay employee engagementThis makes your employees feel valued and keeps them interested in their work.
Second, your plan should consider your company's long-term strategy and growth goals. What are the key benchmarks you want to achieve, and what skills do your people need to develop or acquire to achieve those goals?
As you grow, leadership roles will undoubtedly open up, giving you more opportunitiesencourage from within. The third facet of your employee development plan should appealleadership trainingby helping your employees to develop into future managers and leaders of your company.
Step 2:Create employee-specific development plans
Have managers sit down with their direct reports to discuss what employees enjoy about their job, what they find difficult, what disinterests them, and how they hope to advance in their role. Employees should be held accountable for adhering to their development plan, but managers have a responsibility to direct and support reports on their career paths.
Encourage employees and managers to meet regularly to discuss the employee's development plan and explore opportunities for professional growth. Again, tailoring the options to the individual is crucial. If they are not receptive to the training format or subject matter, they are unlikely to retain the information and the learning opportunity will be wasted.
Step 3: Provision of development offers
Use employee-specific plans to create company-wideprofessional development opportunities. If multiple employees say they want to attend different training courses but don't have time for an event outside of work hours, consider purchasing an online learning subscription. Employees can share access to the platform and complete courses from the comfort of their own home without having to take time off work.
When a majority of employees show an interest in learning more about a particular topic, such as B. Public Speaking, also host a training seminar. To save on costs, use your leadership team's networks to find a talented speaker and colleague who might be interested in sharing a few tips over a lunch and study session. If employees are spread across subjects and learning paths, consider offering a professional development grant to support employees in their individual activities.
Step 4:Rate your efforts and ask for feedback
Depending on the material, the immediate benefits of employee development can be difficult to assess. You probably won't see new deals closed overnight as a result of sales training, but you willsignificantly higher completion rates and employee retentionin the long run.
The strongest indicator of success is the reactions of your employees. Because there are opportunities for professional developmentDrivers of employee engagement, carrying out regularlyEmployee engagement surveysis an effective way to measure your team members' interest in and satisfaction with your professional development opportunities.
Ensure managers regularly review the progress of their direct reports. Is additional training required to master a particular skill? Have they found a more efficient way to accomplish their tasks? Which learning opportunities did they like best and which did not? Managers should adjust each employee's development plan accordingly and communicate broad ideas to leadership so they can change company-wide strategy.
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Examples of employee development
You don't have to break the bank or go very far to pursue career development opportunities. Several of the following ideas can be easily implemented in your organization to encourage learning and development organically.
However, don't turn to the more expensive options outside of your office. While your team can grow their skillset simply by leveraging your internal resources, every industry is full of brilliant minds with something to offer - give your employees a chance to learn from them whenever you can.
1. Implement mentoring opportunities
Access to industry experts and the chance to learn from them is a top priority for job seekers, especially tech candidates. The rapid evolution of the technology industry requires continuous professional development, and working with experts in the field naturally integrates regular learning opportunities into the role.
maintenancecan take place within the office, where managers and executives mentor individual employees, or companies can consider implementing a mentoring program that extends beyond the department or even the office. Seek out people who are g by naturegreat mentorsand nurture meaningful relationships. Don't forget to reward them for their time and help.
2. Create shadowing opportunities
Professional development should not be limited to an employee's current field of activity. Give your team members the opportunity to learn from each other by creating a shadowing program that allows employees to observe a colleague's role for a day, a week, or even months at a time. This encourages cross-departmental collaboration, improves team collaboration, and fosters employee relationships.
A shadowing program is extremely helpful when an employee detaches from their work. When you make it easy to explore other career paths within your company, you show that you value your employees as individuals and not just employees, and increase the likelihood of retaining a great employee who just needs a new passion.
3. Host lunches and learns
Promote knowledge transfer through planningLunch-and-LearnsHere individuals can share information about their work area, new developments in their field and the impact of their work on other teams. You can also use the time as an opportunity to stimulate dialogue on important workplace issues such as creating inclusive team environments, moderated by a staff member with expertise in the field.
4. Provide professional training
When a new skill cannot be acquired in-house, it is to your advantage as an employer to offer professional development opportunities away from the office. Training seminars and certifications are widely available, covering topics ranging from public speaking to programming languages.
Consider allocating a portion of your annual budget to providing bursaries for employee professional development. Not only is this an attractive benefit that will draw the attention of top talent, a continuing education grant will also motivate employees and help them acquire knowledge that can further advance your business. This ensures that your most qualified employees do notBurn outor feel like they've reached a plateau in their career. Encourage your employees to use these grants for learning opportunities such as courses, certifications, professional memberships, and conferences.
If you don't currently have space on the budget, don't worry - there are plenty of affordable online training options.Lynda.com,SkillshareandUdemyarePopular learning platformsthis range of skills and subjects. Free platforms, likeYoutube, also make it easy to access videos and tutorials covering almost everything. Finding an affordable online opportunity for professional development is easy.
More on career developmentProfessional development that actually leads to career growth
5. Set up a rotation program
Rotation programs allow employees to work on different projects across departments over a period of several weeks to several months. It's especially beneficial for new hires as they get to know your company. The program helps new employees to understand the different facets of your company and to get to know their colleagues.
Still, a rotation program can benefit permanent employees. Temporarily working in another department promotes knowledge transfer, which employees can use to improve processes between teams. Employees can also discover new interests or passions that they can develop into valuable skills. Additionally, a brief break from their day-to-day responsibilities can challenge and revitalize employees, encouraging them to flex other muscles and approach their role from a fresh perspective.
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