Five Key Strategies to Improve Employee Development

You want the best talent in the marketplace. The thing is, the best employees are the ones who are lifelong learners committed to self-improvement!

These are the types of people who will keep adding value to your company over time as they seek to better themselves in an ever-changing world. They want to be the very best like no one ever was…but if your employee development programs are lacking, it’s likely that they’ll be looking for a new job within a year. If you want to attract and KEEP the best employees, you’re going to need ways to improve your employee development at your company. 

Fortunately, we know the best place for you to start! Here are five strategies to keep in mind as you strive to improve employee development at your company:

1. Set goals (and stick to them): You might not know where to begin to improve employee development. Why not start with the employees themselves? Poll the team to see what skills they think would be the most helpful to learn. Not only will this ensure that you’re covering all your bases, but involving employees in the planning stages of development will create more of a team environment, and give everyone a more positive mindset about the training! 

Pro Tip: Compare your employees’ lists with your own list of things you would like to improve about the company. See the places where they overlap? That’s the perfect spot to begin!

Now that you have your clear goals, you have to make sure you keep track of your progress. Find a way to quantify your developments, and share them with your employees to keep them from getting discouraged! Change can be hard, and seeing the benefits of learning can go a long way to keeping the team positive and on task. 

2. Make time especially for training: Here’s a fact: You will need to carve out time every month to give totally to employee development. Your team is already working at full capacity, so you’ll need to find ways to create space for them to also focus on training. It may be counterintuitive to ask your employees to divert some attention from work to learn more, but it will help them stay enthusiastic about training when they’re not being asked to cram it into an overpacked schedule. Giving employee development the proper time and space it needs to breathe is essential to success!

3. Leave it to the experts: If you’re still on the fence about investing in more employee development, it may be tempting to pay less for something less impactful.

Not so fast. Kicking off employee development with a lackluster, painful seminar might not give you the reaction you were expecting. Research shows that employees who receive frequent training (whether through in-house training or at seminars) through work have lower stress levels and higher rates of job satisfaction. In fact, one of the biggest reasons companies lose employees within the first year is due to inadequate training! 

4. Don’t try to cut corners: According to research, 70% of learning on the job happens informally on a daily basis, between coworkers helping each other out. Take advantage of this system already in place! In-house training can provide a safe and supportive learning environment, and also allows you the flexibility to tailor the program perfectly to your employees (Did we mention we offer an in-house training program?). A well-run company is like a thriving ecosystem with every individual working together in a harmonious balance. What one person does affects everyone else—so encourage cross-departmental training! Not only can this help foster a sense of community at work, but it also broadens their perspective and skillsets to make the company run more cohesively. As an added bonus, cross-department training allows employees to see the impact their newfound skills have as part of the bigger picture. Humans are always happier when they feel like they’re part of something greater than themselves!

5. Stay flexible: Assess what each team needs and prepare to provide it in a format that works for the employees and make it easy for them to engage and grow. Having a hard time making training times work for everyone’s different schedules? Make it flexible! Some people might prefer online webinars. Others might thrive in a classroom setting where they can bounce ideas off each other. Remember that everyone has different learning styles, and try to accommodate the many generations you might have at your workplace. Keep in mind what we mentioned above with frequent training; you have the power to be flexible and update your content! Allow your employee development program to grow and change, just like your company.

Improving employee development programs is worth it as an investment in the future of your company! You don’t want to have a lackluster, uninspired training that only wastes time and resources, and you definitely don’t want employees to feel like they’ve wasted their time. Take the time to do it right, find the right resources and develop the best employee training programs for you and your employees. 

If you’re interested in learning more about our training programs, we’re happy to chat! Fill out this form and we’ll be in touch.