Employee development can encompass a wide range of activities. They can be focused on training the employees to do their jobs better, or they can be more focused on developing their skills for the future. By turning the workforce into a team of skilled and reliable workers, the organisation as a whole can flourish. In addition, by investing in the advancement of their employees’ careers and skill sets, a business will be able to further motivate them and increase their morale.
Supervisors play an important role in employee development. As they have firsthand knowledge of their team members’ abilities, they know just how to approach each and every team member. They are responsible for informing team members of the company’s expectations, helping them understand the company’s long and short-term goals, and giving them feedback among others. Employees, on the other hand, are not just passive receptors of teachings. As they need to keep up with changes within the organization, they have to constantly improve their skills in order to be on par with the company’s expectations.
However, even if employee development is an important aspect of a business, it’s still often overlooked in favour of more immediate needs like production and sales. These are some of the other reasons employee development isn’t a huge priority in businesses:
- Organisations want to focus on the current needs such as production and profit. As a result, many companies feel that training the employees would be a waste of manpower because these employees would need to be taken out of the production floor and into the training room. Most of the time, they believe that one training session before each new hire hits the floor is enough training for them
- The training may look good on paper, but in practice, they are often impractical. Some training sessions may last for only a few days, as companies believe this is all the time they can spare for training. However, the trainers are so hard-pressed to contain all the training in just a couple of days that they pay more attention to getting it done than making the employees learn more.
- Employees, on the other hand, may also often reject the idea of employee development because they feel like the company will be expecting more work from them without actually increasing their pay.
With all these factors hindering organisations from further development, the employees may become stuck with the same set of skills. Compared to employees of other organisations, these employees will be left behind and would stand a lesser chance of being accepted into other companies should they decide to leave their current ones. Companies need to realise how important employee development really is. Not only does it increase morale, but it also helps build loyalty.
People who feel that their skills are have been enriched would genuinely want to advance. They will definitely appreciate that the company is paying attention to their potential while providing them with the needed support in order to advance in their career.
As for the employers, they need to understand that training shouldn’t only happen within the training room. In fact, they can happen even without taking the employee out of the production floor. There are numerous ways in which an employee can learn more skills and develop existing ones while they’re still working on their job. From a larger perspective, training can happen without making sacrifices to the time employees spend doing their usual jobs. Here are a few ways training can take place outside of the training classroom:
These are items that offer immediate practical help to make the employees tasks easier to handle. This can include charts, tip sheets, cheat sheets, code lists and diagrams that contain valuable information on how the employee can do their job. By giving these employees job aids, it lessens the need for the employee to memorise everything so they can work on improving their skills and not rote memorisation of processes.
This refers to allowing the employee to take control of their own training so that they can choose exactly what they would like to learn. By giving the employee a developmental plan and learning milestones, the employee would then have a clear guide, but would not to submit to strict learning timeframes of usual classroom training.
This refers to supervisors directly training the employee while on the job. By establishing timelines and goals with a suitable mentor, the employee can achieve better work quality, transfer or learning and better problem-solving skills.
Though promoting the employee to a higher position of greater responsibility often feels like a reward, it’s also a way to develop their skills while retaining them as a valued employee. However, before an employee should be promoted, they must also be able to surpass the expectations of their current position.
This, like promotion, gives the employee more authority and responsibility within their position. Examples include working with a committee, special assignments or working with other teams in the organization. This gives the employee more interest and motivation in their job, while also allowing them to expand their network and have better connections in other departments.
Job rotation allows the employee to experience numerous different positions within a department or within the organization in order to have a feel of the other functions that they can perform. This adds diversity, interest and can also serve as a great way to prepare an employee for supervisory positions.
A lateral move entails moving the employee to a position with different responsibilities but with a similar status and pay grade. It gives the employee a chance to experience new challenges and also allows them to develop other skills, especially if the employee is not looking for an increase in responsibility. By allowing the employee to work with different units, the employee becomes more flexible in terms of what they are capable of.
As an employer, it is important to see the potential of your employees. It is always possible for them to improve their efficiency and their skill sets. Be sure to take the time to be aware of your employee’s capabilities, and encourage them to be better and to work harder.