What Is Employee Development?
Employee development is a catchphrase in the work world, but what exactly is it? Employee development is a cooperative effort between the employee and employer to help the worker improve their skills and knowledge in the field. This may include training the team on new technology or strategies to use, providing training to promote leadership from within the organization, or skill-based training modules that help improve employee performance. Since many fields are constantly changing, employee development helps workers stay on top of changes so they can deliver their best work every day.
The Importance of Training and Development
So, why is employee development so important? Why should companies be investing in training and development for their teams?
There are many benefits of career development for employees, but ultimately, employee development means your company has the best possible workforce on hand. When employees are properly trained, and that training is constantly updated, they are able to better serve your customers and deliver a top customer experience. It also shows that you are willing to invest in your people, and that is something your people will reciprocate with increased loyalty and better performance.
Benefits of Investing in Employee Development
How does employee development create a better workforce? Here is a closer look at how employee development impacts your company and your employees to help your company succeed.
1. Attract Great Employees
Your company is only as good as its workers, and getting great employees needs to be a top priority. A robust employee development program will attract top talent. People who are good at what they do are drawn to companies that invest in them.
In the Job Confidence Index Q1 2017 report, Michael Page interviewed job seekers in India. The report found that one of the reasons people seek new jobs is to acquire new skills. Nearly half of the respondents, 48%, listed that as a reason they looked for new work. If your company is able to provide those skills through a robust employee development plan, you will attract good workers.
Employee development becomes part of your benefits package. It shows that you are a competitive company looking to hire people that are willing to work hard for you. It shows that you, as an employer, care about the people who work for you.
2. Improve Employee Performance
Most employees want to do their jobs well. Good performance gives them a high level of job satisfaction, and poor performance is frustrating. So, how can employee development help?
Poor performance often comes from employees who are not fully aware of how they are supposed to do their jobs. Investing in employee development boosts your bottom line. Employees who are well trained know how to do their work well, and this means they perform at a higher level. Through employee development, you can give your team the skills they need to improve their day-to-day work, get better outcomes, and boost your bottom line. A better-trained workforce brings increased output for your company.
To see improved performance from employee development, companies must first figure out the root cause of under-performing employees. What, specifically, are employees not doing that is causing their poor performance? Once you identify these areas of failure, you can then find training programs that address that particular action or process and give that to your team through employee development.
3. Increase Employee Engagement
Executives often cite employee engagement as one of their top business strategies. Engaged employees are less likely to have safety incidents on the job, are more loyal and productive, and are willing to do more than just the bare minimum in their roles. Yet promoting employee engagement can feel vague, maybe even out of reach. While employee engagement is a multi-faceted thing, employee development plans can play a role in creating a more engaged workforce.
When employees have the opportunity for career development, they are more likely to get involved in the day-to-day operations more actively. They become more optimistic about their ability to succeed, and that optimism turns into improved engagement with the company. Engaged employees feel a strong sense of urgency in their work, and they become more focused on the job. This all adds up to an improved overall performance for your business.
4. Train Future Leaders
Your business needs leaders to help you reach your goals. Can you picture who will be in management 10 years from now? Do you have a new hire that shows leadership potential that you would like to mold for that position? When you have employee development plans in place, you have the ability to choose and train those leaders. Investing in employee development now means you are able to push the right people into leadership roles in the future.
When you use employee development programs to train future leaders, you end up with leadership that is highly loyal to your company. They know how they reached these heights, and they are committed to continuing to help your company succeed. By investing in employee development now, you are investing in the future of your business by creating trained, loyal management.
5. Boost Employee Job Satisfaction
Job satisfaction is a critical component of a successful business. Happy employees are productive employees that deliver stellar customer service. When employees know that they can trust their company to invest in them, they respond with increased job satisfaction. When employees are happy in their work, they show it through improved productivity and output.
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Some companies assume that employee satisfaction comes from fun perks, like an on-site gymnasium or free lunches. While these things can help boost employee job satisfaction as well, true satisfaction comes from creating work environments where employees can contribute to reach their fullest professional potential. This is often through employee development.
When employees can get the training they need, they see the direct impact that training has on their work. This creates a sense of ownership, not only in their personal work but also in the success of the company as a whole. Empowering employees through training improves their overall satisfaction on the job.
6. Improve Skills and Knowledge
Ultimately, improved employee development plans improve the skills and knowledge of your workforce. All of this adds up to create an environment where your people succeed. When your people succeed, your company succeeds.
To make the most out of this benefit, companies need to evaluate their workforce and determine those areas where they fall short. Then, they need to create strategies that will address those areas. Targeted and tailored professional development improves the skills and knowledge of the team exactly where it is needed, and this contributes to the overall success of the organization.
Online Education Makes Employee Development Easier to Attain
With so many benefits, employee development is no longer something companies and Human Resources Departments can afford to ignore. Today, online education makes it easier than ever to invest in employee development. Major universities and colleges, including Post University, have flexible Human Resource programs that can be completed entirely online. This gives your company the tools it needs to craft an employee development plan, and then give your employees the ability to complete that plan and enjoy the benefits it brings in their day-to-day work.