How are you developing your employees? Hiring and retaining the right staff is a top priority for most businesses, and the process needs a failproof plan.
Employee development should also be part of your HR strategy and include online training for your remote workers. Plus professional development should commence from the moment staff are hired and continue throughout their employment.
If you’re wondering if your employee development program is up to scratch, don’t worry, we can help, and there are some straightforward steps you can take that will improve it immediately.
Below, we look at what employee development is and what it takes to make it successful.
Employee Development Explained
Supporting your staff to develop their skills is not solely about their current job. Nor is it just about where they can progress within your organisation. Staff development is about providing a series of training and knowledge programs and workshops that develop the employee.
The training should include on the job training, and ‘hard skills’ pertinent to their ability to perform their current role and move up the ranks in their profession. For example, a cybersecurity analyst will undertake certifications, and industry recognised training or learn a new skill like pen-testing.
The training also should cover soft skills which are transferrable to other roles. Every employee needs to develop their social and communication skills. Emotional Quotient (EQ) or emotional intelligence, will play a role in the hiring and promotion opportunities for all staff.
Now we know the basics of professional development let’s look at how you can improve your program.
How To Improve Your Employee Development
Employee development should begin from the moment that your new member of staff steps through the door. This means coming up with a training program that gets them up to speed with the company and how it does business at the earliest possible opportunity.
Not only will this help your company, but it will also show the new employee that you are committed to their development right from the get-go. As a result, they are more likely to stay with your organization as it improves their career prospects in the future.
Run Regular Programs
Running a series of mandatory and voluntary employee development programs that take place throughout the year ensures that your staff members are always learning something and never stagnating. The programs could focus on their soft skills, particularly communication, or focus on something that is altogether more technical and specific such as looking at their Google cloud abilities.
Plus when there are some assessment and certification at the end of each program, the employee keeps it. Plus exams or tests are evidence the knowledge has been properly absorbed and retained.
Create Individual Development Plans
The general training programs that you put into place also help if you make some of these more specialized and personalized for each employee.
Usually, the setting of goals and targets can take place at each employee review. As well as the setting of targets, you also need to go back and check that everything has been followed up effectively.
Make sure that each employee is closely involved in their own development plan and that they agree to the targets that have been set for them.
Give Constructive Feedback
The art of giving feedback is a difficult one to master. Essentially, it should involve ensuring that any advice you give to your employees is constructive. If it’s too critical, it can have the opposite effect on the one you were intending. This is also the case if you make it too vague with no actionable steps that the employee can put into practice.
There is a balance to be struck along the way, and you may not be able to get the hang of it straight away. Over time, you will be able to put your finger on which feedback is constructive and not.
Use Certified Trainers
While you may want to take care of some of your own training in-house, there is a lot to be gained from getting in touch with certified trainers and bringing them in to manage some of the programs.
They are experienced in the sector and have specifically designed their classes to get the best from the people who take them. However, make sure that you read all the reviews and hire a team that knows what they are doing and talking about.
Hiring is costly and retaining the right employees can be even more expensive if your only option is to pay them more.
Improving employee development should be a reason staff stay, and it can end up bringing all sorts of unexpected advantages to your organization beyond staff retention. So, now is the time to put some of these techniques into practice.