From raising leaders within to creating a culture of learning, the most successful organizations realize the importance of developing their employees. In fact, employee development has become not just a succession planning initiative, but also a retention builder. And with Millennials as the largest generation in the workforce, they have become an outspoken leader in changing companies understanding of what their employees want and need in a profession. According to a recent Gallup study, 87% of Millennials cite professional development and career growth opportunities as very important. Moreover, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, more than half of Millennials see career advancement opportunities as more desirable than competitive wages and financial incentives.
Though development is important to workers, 68% feel their supervisors aren’t actively engaged in their own career development. The dichotomy between the two stances can be remedied with an emphasis on creating a company culture of employee development. Close the gap by checking out these quick tips for developing talent!
One of the easiest and most effective ways to help an employee with development and career advancement opportunities is to offer to be a professional mentor. Regardless of your career path, leadership style, and expertise level, you have worked to get where you are today. And that journey has provided you with a certain amount of priceless wisdom that younger professionals just don’t have. If you have employees who aspire to be in your shoes one day, consider taking them under your wing, cultivating their skills and encouraging them on their path. From one-on-ones to business lunches to professional organizational meetings, try to impart your years of knowledge and expertise unto your team and see how engagement and productivity soar. You may be surprised how meaningful just sharing your time with your employees can be.
Developing your employees doesn’t necessarily mean they become more niche. Giving your workers an opportunity to become more well-rounded as a professional could actually help them grow even more in their specific positions. Take the time to find out what other interests your employees have, and see if there are instances where they can shadow other teammates who are currently in roles that pique the employee’s interest. If your administrative professional enjoys working with numbers and data, maybe you can arrange for one of your accountants to start a mentorship. By going outside of the daily grind to learn more about other positions, you safeguard your employees from becoming burnt out in their current positions.
In some cases, an employee may show interest in another position at your company that requires further training outside the office. In cases like these, it may benefit you to invest not just time, but resources in developing your team. One of the best avenues for this type of training is Career and vocation tech schools. Programs through these educational organizations are designed specifically for developing lifelong skills that translate to specific job duties, whereas with some university programs, further training is needed for graduates before they can perform in a professional setting. If cross training isn’t an option, consider rewarding your top employees with an education that will help your company be more productive.
Develop Your Employees Into the Team You Need
Many companies understand the struggle to find engaged employees. The talent war is real, but leaders don’t necessarily have to battle one another to win the fight. Work with the team members you already have and develop them into the workforce you need. The benefits are two-fold. First, you help inspire, encourage, and develop workers into the professionals they aspire to be. And second, you get the professionals you require to maintain a competitive advantage in your market. When it comes to successful employee development, everyone wins.
What have you done to develop your employees? How have your efforts affected engagement in your organization? Let us know in the comments section below!