The development of your team members is a crucial component of company wellness and growth. If you’re an employer, it’s important to understand the importance of employee development. Offering your employees regular opportunities to improve their skills and advance their personal growth can help them feel supported and engaged while boosting the reputation of your company.
What is employee development and why is it important?
Employee development is a detailed plan
Employers can help employees improve professionally by providing them with the resources they need.
Employee development ensures that your team members are contributing as much as possible to the business business should also make an effort to contribute as much as possible to the employees and their career goals.
This mindset can keep your team motivated and push the business to grow and develop. Improving employee development opportunities can result in numerous benefits, including a healthy work environment, increased engagement and better productivity levels.
How to Improve Employee Development
When looking to apply employee development, it’s important to remember that a blanket approach for all employees will rarely prove effective. Be sure to tailor your improvement strategies to what best serves your team. Regular employee development can have a multitude of benefits for both your team members and the company you work for.
1. Offer continuous professional development opportunities
If you want to set your team up for success, you can provide employees with effective tools and resources that they can use to achieve their professional development goals. One way to do this could be to offer a range of development opportunities to each team member, allowing them to choose professional training that suits and maximises their development potential and career plans.
2. Help your team improve soft skills
It’s common to underestimate the value of soft skills, but they are incredibly important to have in the workplace. Soft skills cover key elements like time management, networking, creative thinking abilities, teamwork and conflict resolution. These skills usually take years to successfully develop and master and are some of the most important skills that employees use in the workplace.
As businesses rely on the relationships between people, investing in teaching your team members strong soft skills can be helpful for ensuring the success of the team. Consider applying a training day during which your team members work together cohesively to complete a set of goals.
3. Remove barriers
Successful development cannot happen if your management style creates barriers that are a hindrance to growth. It’s a good idea to review outdated processes and rigid structures to remove any potential barriers. You can then encourage a work environment that incorporates time to develop and grow in the ways that are most beneficial to your team members.
It’s important to ensure that important training is offered to employees who may not have had the same experiences and opportunities as others. For example, you may wish to consider giving team members from disadvantaged backgrounds extra opportunities to bolster their skills and expertise. This can help break down barriers within the organisation and ensure everyone on your team is equally equipped for the demands that their roles present.
4. Regularly communicate with your team
Communication is the key to success in any organisation. Employees may benefit from regular communication to ensure that all possible measures are adopted to improve employee development within the company.
As the employees are the ones who are receiving the training, they may have ideas and suggestions about how the workplace can offer more effective support and mentorship. Once you learn what they want and need, you can adapt your employee development programmes to better suit these requirements. This may lead to greater employee satisfaction and retention.
In the same way, every employee can benefit from knowing if they’re performing well in their role. Regular, constructive feedback can help ensure that your team feels valued for their work. It can also give them the opportunity to focus on their weaknesses so that they know which skills to focus on improving. Whether you choose to use performance metrics or simple observations, you can use the feedback you provide to make an action plan for employee development.
5. Encourage a growth-orientated approach
Regardless of the amount of effort you put into improving employee development, if your employees lack interest in improving their skills, they may not advance in their roles. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make your team aware that you expect them to improve their skills regularly, both for themselves and for the company.
To do this, consider creating a helpful guide explaining how employees can find development resources, how the company can help them on their journey and their responsibilities during the process.
6. Be an example to your employees
If you’re constantly telling your team to grow and develop, but don’t put any effort into re-training yourself and developing your own skills, they may not be willing to pursue their own growth. If you highlight to them that you care about your own professional development and take strides to build your professional skills, it builds trust and respect. It also helps demonstrate the value of professional development to employees throughout the company.
Sadia Zaheer holds a Masters in Business Administration from IBA, Karachi. After working in several financial institutions in Client Management, Corporate Lending, Islamic Banking and Product Management she jumped careers to pursue a career in writing.
She is a Finance, Business and HR Development writer with four years of experience. She reads a lot and takes care of her multiple cats to remain calm.