One of the key factors associated with employee retention and business success is employee growth and development, both professionally and personally. A recent study done by business management consultants Willis Towers Watson found that “More than 70% of high-retention-risk employees say they have to leave their organization in order to advance their careers.” If you want your employees to stick around and continue to contribute in a significant way to your company, the importance of growth and development to employees cannot be overlooked.
By trying to improve employee growth and development, both the employee and your organization benefit. Besides better employee retention, you will see your company culture, employee engagement, and business performance improve, among other things. Here are some of the best ways to improve employee growth and development:
1) Provide ongoing training resources and skill development
When you meet with employees or assess their performance, try to determine what skills they need the most improvement on. One of the ways to improve employee growth and development is to provide employees with resources such as literature, workshops and consultants to help hone in on improving these skills. The subject matter of these resources could be anything from creative writing to graphic design to Microsoft Excel. Also, don’t overlook the importance of training for any soft skills that need improvement among members of your team, such as leadership and teamwork.
2) Provide growth opportunities within the company
To help your employees feel valued and that you believe in their capabilities, make sure you are continually providing them with new challenges and responsibility. This could be in the form of a promotion, or simply enriching their current position in both responsibility and pay. Align these growth opportunities with employees’ performance achievements, as a reward for a job well done. Also, to give employees a better understanding on how they are contributing to the company, one of the best ways to improve employee growth and development is to provide cross-departmental training. For instance, an employee that works in marketing may gain a better understanding of the customers they are trying to reach by sitting in on some customer service calls.
3) Promote Employee Wellness
One of the ways to improve employee professional growth and development is to promote employee growth and development personally. If your employee’s physical, emotional or financial well-being is suffering, the quality of their work and their attitude with others in the workplace is likely to suffer as well. It’s important that managers check in with employees regularly to see if there is any area of their work with which they are struggling. If you feel an employee is having personal issues, see what accommodations you can make for them. This will improve employee loyalty tenfold.
Also, in addition to offering competitive health insurance packages to your employees, if you want better employee retention and performance it’s in your best interest to offer employee wellness programs. According to Forbes, over two-thirds of U.S. employers already offer health wellness programs for employees. Services often included in health wellness programs are discounted or free fitness classes, gym memberships, nicotine cessation programs, stress management and nutrition counseling.
Another one of the ways to improve employee personal growth and development is to offer financial wellness programs to employees. According to a recent survey from the Society of Human Resource Management, four out of five employers report that their employees’ personal financial issues are impacting their job performance. By showing an interest in your employees’ overall well-being, they are likely to be more motivated to improve and work harder professionally.
4) Encourage Networking
Finally, one of the best ways to improve employee growth and development is to encourage them to network with other professionals both inside and outside the company. Networking is just as important to employed individuals as it is to those who are job searching. Having conversations with others in the industry can help your employees learn more about their own jobs and how to perform better. Also, it can benefit your company since your employees’ connections could come in handy down the line as potential partners, vendors, customers or employees. Encourage your employees to connect with professionals on social networks such as LinkedIn, offer to pay for them to join professional associations, and keep them updated on any local networking events you are aware of.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.