How to improve development for employees at your company
Employee development is a long-term initiative, but it also leads to short-term benefits like increased loyalty and improved performance and engagement. It’s important that your employees continue to learn and grow professionally.
Explain the company’s direction, strategy and goals
When an individual is hired and on-boarded, as a manager you should describe the company culture and standards that are expected of each employee. This can be the company mission and values, but managers should go beyond these statements to having an open discussion with the new hire about expectations, as well as the company’s overall strategy, plan and goals for the future.
This conversation not only ensures everyone is on the same page, but also gives the new hire some direction and an early understanding of the big picture everyone is working toward.
Consider all types of training and development
Developmental programs don’t have to be expensive and may take numerous forms. Formal classroom training or online courses are only one way to help your team expand their talents.
Before the training or new assignment starts, make sure your employees understand why they’re being asked to learn this new skill, what you expect them to learn and how this benefits the company and their careers. After training, help them apply their new skills in the workplace.
Most learners need to be engaged to deeply learn a new skill or gain knowledge. That’s why other types of development may be even better than a course, and include:
Taking on pieces of the next job up the ladder is a particularly good way to prep to take over the whole job one day. It gives less experienced employees the chance to learn and grow, and builds your bench so you can promote from within.
You’re spending a considerable amount of time and possibly money on helping your employees improve their skills. To get your greatest possible return on investment, your employees need to be able to put those new skills to work in your company.
Set up some opportunities where your employees can quickly apply the new skills to the job and get feedback. This will help them reinforce and refine their new skills. If they don’t use the new knowledge when it’s fresh, they’re likely to lose it.
Have Regular Reviews
Make sure supervisors are checking in with their supervisees, and that employees’ needs are being met professionally.
Maybe they’re ready to take on a new or different kind of project so that they can grow. Similarly, during your reviews, have them reflect on their own work. In what areas do they think they need to improve? And how can you help them do so? Consider having them set their own goals for the next year.
Share networking events and opportunities
As a manager, a good practice for the company and for individual employees is to share networking events with the team. This is a great opportunity for employees to meet with others in the industry to share information about the company and potentially get more customers or clients. Additionally, employees can meet with others to learn about industry trends and get ideas or inspiration. Showing that management cares about employees by inviting them to events goes a long way for their professional development and engagement in the workplace.
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