Today’s workforce is dynamic, digital, and global. As a result, workers are more independent than ever before. They must be able to think critically about their work environments and how they can contribute to an organization in new ways. Employees who feel stuck or stagnant are less inclined to stay with your company for the long-term. If you want to attract and retain top talent, your employees need opportunities for growth. A recent study found that the retention rate of employees who participated in career development programs increased by 53%. On the other hand, the departure rate of employees without such programs increased by 125%.
By providing training programs, mentorship opportunities, and other forms of development, you can help your employees grow as individuals while also retaining them as members of your team. Here are 10 ways to develop the skills of your employees for greater results:
Create a culture that rewards learning and development.
Employees who feel supported in their development are more likely to stay with your company. Creating a culture that values learning provides your employees with a sense of empowerment that they can achieve their goals. To do this, you might consider:
- Regularly communicating the importance of development to your employees. It’s important to make it clear that development isn’t something that only happens during the initial hiring process. It’s an ongoing process that employees should always be involved in.
- Holding open discussions about what employees want to learn and how they can grow as individuals. You can even include employees who have left the company to better understand their needs.
- Setting up mentorship programs where employees can receive guidance from more senior colleagues.
Create an employee resource group
An employee resource group is a type of organization in which employees from different backgrounds can come together to discuss shared interests. ERGs can help employees address issues they face in the workplace, find support, and learn new skills. While many companies support employee resource groups, not all of them are targeted towards employees. Some are designed for specific demographics. For example, an employee resource group focused on women in the workplace can help employees develop their skills and advance their careers. Identify leaders, develop a mission statement, create a plan, and begin recruiting members. An employee resource group can help your employees feel more supported and connected to their work environment. It can help them develop new skills and make valuable connections that can benefit their careers.
Provide onboarding and training at the start of employment
New employees need time to settle into their roles and learn the ropes. They also require time to build relationships with colleagues and get to know the culture of the organization. To help new staff members get up to speed as quickly as possible, provide them with onboarding and training programs from the get-go. Onboarding is the process that new employees undergo during the first weeks of employment. During this time, they receive training, are introduced to colleagues, and learn about company culture. To start off onboarding, your company could administer an assessment that gauges each new employee’s interests and strengths. You could also ask each new employee to describe what they want to achieve. This can serve as a basis for their onboarding training and help them stay focused on their growth.
Use workshops to teach essential workplace skills
Some skills are essential in every workplace, but they may not be things that each individual employee is already good at. As a manager, you may want to host workshops to teach skills such as effective time management, dealing with difficult guests, and mentorship. Doing so can help your employees become more effective in their jobs. You can also host workshops to teach your employees best practices in the workplace. A workshop is also a great way to get employees working together and building relationships with one another.
Help your employees find the right training program for their needs.
Consider building an internal curriculum, or hiring an external consultant, to run training for your staff.
Examples of topics that employees could learn about include mentoring, contributing to the company culture, and exploring career paths.
- Mentoring: how to share knowledge among staff members most effectively
- Culture: what the company culture is and how staff are expected to embrace and perpetuate it
- Exploring career paths: where else within the business can employees see themselves contributing and how might they start working towards that?
- Interpersonal skills training: Interpersonal skills are essential. Employees may want to take part in interpersonal skills training to learn how to communicate more effectively, solve problems, and best collaborate with others.
Hold celebrations for recognizing employees who develop skills or show growth.
Celebrations help reinforce positive behaviors. When an employee shows growth or develops a new skill, you can host a celebration to recognize their efforts. Celebrations are most effective when they are personalized. Instead of celebrating every skill your employees learn, target celebrations to skills that are particularly impactful for your organization. For example, when an employee passes a certification exam or shows growth, celebrate their efforts.
Create a culture of learning and development
Finally, you can create a culture of learning and development in your company by being open to new ideas and opportunities for growth. You can also be a positive role model for your employees by pursuing your own professional development. This can help your employees see that development is something that is important to you and your organization. By investing in your employees and providing them with opportunities for growth, you can help them achieve more at work.