How can companies improve their employee development programmes?
Employee development is a two-way road to success; it not only encourages your employees to invest more into the organisation and consider long-term goals, but also boosts productivity which of course will benefit your larger organisational goals. Most organisations engage in a structured employee development programs to foster engagement and boost morale.
Companies today don’t see this as an ‘option’ anymore but more of a ‘need’ to make employee development plan as a part of their growth strategy.
As a leading online recruitment specialist and a thought leader in human resource strategies, we, at TalentSpa shortlist five essential but easy steps to build and improve employee development in your organisation.
Devise a way to regularly monitor your team’s performance. Encourage and acknowledge their achievements and engage in constructive criticisms by habitually reviewing their performances. Organisations who do monthly reviews are said to engage and retain employees better. Also consider an employee recognition program where your high performing employees get rewarded and recognised among peers.
Provide learning opportunities
Companies of the ‘knowledge economy’ swear by the mantra of ‘never stop learning’ Even if your organisation hires the best candidates, you need to continuously encourage them to keep upgrading their knowledge and skills as they continue to grow at work. And the need of the hour calls for knowledge creation by employees, rather than simply absorbing or sharing it. Most companies engage in monthly or quarterly training programs for employees. However, the key to finding the right employee development plan is to narrow down to individual growth. Of course, you cannot have a tailor-made plan for each and every individual, more so if your staff size is huge. HR leaders suggest that the best way to provide on-job learning opportunity is to find the key areas that need development and cluster members together for ‘group training’ programs.
Consider cross-departmental training & interaction
The current economy and work trends cannot afford organisations to be working in the silos of their respective departments anymore. To help the millennial employees grow and develop better, it is imperative to expose them to the complete organisational framework, allowing them to understand how each department functions and how they impact each other’s output. For example, your customer support team might not be completely aware of what goes behind designing a certain feature of a product or the tech team would not gauge how much the company has spent for R&D. That’s why it is important to have cross-training which helps your employees develop new skills thus diversifying themselves.
Get serious about soft-skills
Most millennials start working earlier which doesn’t allow to them to come well- armed with all kinds of skills and knowledge. Millennial employees seek support, coaching and a guided path to advancement. This could be a blessing in disguise to your organisation, where you can train employees in a way that fits best in the industry and that will help boost your employee performance.
Of course, your employees would be well networked ‘socially’, in their personal circle. However, professional networking goes a long way, not only for the individual employee but also for your organisation. Most young companies and organisational leaders are encouraging their staff to update LinkedIn profiles and connect with peers, industry experts, follow benchmark companies and so on. Networking allows conversations and joining such real-time discussions can help improve communication and strategy skills and work as an indirect training program for employees.
There are and will always be the constraints of time, budget, goal perception, economic shifts and so on. And it might not always be plausible for organisations to tailor-make development programs. But you can always keep it a priority within your developmental strategies. After all, if you as a leader need to take your people ahead, you need to shape them into individuals who can stand the test of time and are invincible when they hit the field.