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Invest in Employee Development in 5 steps

It’s no secret that employee development is key when it comes to creating and maintaining a successful business. However, despite most of us knowing this fact, many leaders make the assumption that individuals should provide their own ways of ensuring development and fail to provide the right support.

Put simply, if an employer is not consciously making the effort to invest in their employees, they are not investing in the prosperity of their business. By make the right efforts in aiding employees develop their skills, you not only boost productivity but can also reduce staff turnover.

So, now you are aware of how important employee development is, how do you go about ensure your staff are well looking after? In this post, we look at a number of ways you can easily invest in your employees and create a positive and engaging work environment that will assist in retaining staff.

Before we begin, it is important to realise that investing in your employees can be everything from financial incentives, to organising ongoing training processes. No matter which way you choose to go, you are making a solid investment that will benefit your business greatly.

Let’s get started.

  1. Facilitating personal and professional growth

While you may hear about keeping your personal life and work life separate, it can be very easy for one to affect the other. Having a positive work environment can do wonders not only within the office but also outside of work. While some business owners worry about offering too much in terms of development, fearing the employee will get what they can then decide to jump ship, not investing out of fear will often have that unwanted effect anyway.

A harsh reality is many employees feel disengaged and disconnected at work. One of the biggest factors for this is a lack of personal development and challenges. If employees feel they are in a rut and not reaching their potential, they may go to another company where they will feel more challenged and can pursuit bigger goals.

So, what can you avoid people going elsewhere to pursue other opportunities? Set aside some time to come up with an Individual Development Plan (IDP). This plan is a great tool to assist your staff in reaching their short and long term goals. The point of the plan is to prompt employees to ask themselves what they are currently doing, where they would like to be and the steps they will need to take to get there.

In order to get the most out of your IDP, it’s essential the managers and team leaders organise regular checkups to check progress. Set up one on one meetings with staff members to discuss any issues they have found or questions they want to raise in pursuit of their goals. This is a great opportunity to offer suggestion to help them succeed and develop a positive work relationship with your co-worker.

The basic questions your IDP will look at addressing are:

  • What goals are you looking to achieve at work in the next year?
  • How will you and the company benefit from this year’s goals?
  • What knowledge, skills and abilities will you gain in pursuit of this goal?
  • What resources will you need to assist you?

If you have the funds to spare, it’s a great strategy is setting aside financial support for personal growth. This can be in the form of conferences, courses outside the organisation, books and more.

  1. Hold regular team building sessions

While you can’t force everyone to get along in a work environment, there are steps you can take to promote harmony amongst your team. Get your team to write down some potential activities they would enjoy doing together and work towards doing some of these.  This don’t have to be extravagant and can be as simple as holding a BBQ nearby or going to a paintball or laser tag excursion. Another simple solution is something sports related as it requires team work in a relaxed environment.

While this take away time from the office, the benefits you look at achieving outweigh the bit of work that is being put off until a later date. This gives everyone the opportunity to get to know each other and gives them something to look forward to.

  1. Reward extra work

Even the smallest businesses have goals that need to be reached in order to function efficiently. You may want to provide extra incentives for employees that go above and beyond what is expected and promote employees to take ownership of their tasks. Offering employees a commission based on how well a goal was achieved is a great incentive for staff to take their job seriously and push their limits to excel.

  1. Take the time to recognise hard workers

Workers are going to be more willing to put in extra effort if they are recognised for all of their hard work and feel appreciated within the company. Make sure you are taking steps to appreciate those who have put in the work to help your company succeed, this can be through weekly or month recognitions and awards.

  1. Personalised benefits that directly suit an employee

Incentives for employees doesn’t always need to be in the form of more money at the end of the month. There are many things you can offer that will make your company a great place to work and aid your employees. Have a lot of employees who have children? Perhaps offering a subsidy for childcare is the way to go. Notice workers are time poor and rushing breaks? Offer free lunches on occasion. There are plenty of options out there, it is just a matter of finding out which is most suited.

At the end of the day, investing in your employees is not just important to individuals but your company as a whole. Think about which strategies work best for you and get creative.


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