Investing time and money in employee development is important to a company. Employees who focus on developing their knowledge, skills and experience help the organization move forward. Here are six ways to encourage employee growth and development:
Ensure employees have a variety of resources to enhance professional development. For example, maintain a database of professional seminars or conferences employees can attend, classes they can take or organizations they can participate in. Employees will stay current on industry news and trends as they develop. Consider providing tuition/expense reimbursement for these professional activities/memberships. Also, provide as many online, on-demand learning opportunities as possible to accommodate employees’ schedules. In addition, offer coaching and mentoring programs for employees to increase their knowledge base and skill set, develop as leaders and help your company remain competitive. Furthermore, ensure different learning options cater to employees’ different learning styles for maximum results.
Develop Specific Skills
Encourage employees to focus on specific skills that need enhancement. For example, employees may take a class to develop their writing skills or participate in a local Toastmasters club to enhance their public speaking skills. Employees who pursue professional growth will increase their level of contributions to the company, perform better in teams and help the organization stay competitive.
Let employees cross-train in departments that interest them. For example, provide a lunch and learn or job shadowing program where employees can learn about job requirements in different departments and decide whether they may be interested in filling a different position or collaborating with different departments. Being able to take on different roles within the organization will result in a better understanding of company operations and potentially uncover ways to save time and money by streamlining systems. Employees may also remain loyal to the company longer because they’re staying engaged in their tasks.
Encourage employees to constantly be networking. Developing relationships with industry professionals helps employees gain new insights, skills and perspectives to excel in their roles. Networking also increases employees’ visibility and builds their reputation as being knowledgeable and supportive. In addition, employees learn industry developments, best practices and ways to handle common challenges. Furthermore, networking helps employees contribute more and help the company move forward.
Encourage Regular Feedback
Ensure managers and employees provide each other with regular feedback to ensure their work is adequately challenging and their needs are being met. Managers and employees can also ask and answer questions, discuss problems and find solutions. In addition, managers can praise employees for achieving desired results and discuss ways they can work on areas that need improvement.
Lead by Example
Ensure all managers and executives lead by example. When staff see higher-level employees actively engaged in professional growth and development, staff are more likely to participate as well. Because workers crave transparency from leaders, workers typically are more willing to engage in behaviors that leaders request of them when they see those behaviors being modeled. This helps build a trusting, collaborative culture within an organization.
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These are six ways to encourage employee growth and development. For assistance with finding top industry professionals, contact WinCorp Solutions today.