As a manager or business owner, you’ve built a highly capable team, and every employee contributes a unique set of skills and life experiences to their job. But how can you retain these sought-after professionals in what is often a competitive job market?
Believe it or not, job satisfaction is not necessarily about a great salary or benefits package. Even though compensation does matter, many employees stay loyal to an organisation if there is a focus on growth in terms of long-term professional development.
When you invest in your team, the benefits are substantial and they are all directed at the self-improvement of employees as a contributing member of the organisation. Whether the purpose of employee development is to up-skill or improve a process, a relationship or their performance, they become more engaged, productive and loyal. Here are the top 10 benefits of employee development.
#1 – Hard and soft skills
One of the most valuable benefits of employee development is the acquisition of skills. These include “hard” skills like technical knowledge that allow employees to remain qualified and equipped with the knowledge they need to accomplish everyday tasks. And it often leads to an increase in confidence and them being more efficient and productive.
“Soft” skills are interpersonal attributes that can determine if an individual is easy to work with, and it can also be critical for certain types of roles. For example, a client-facing employee may be good at their job, but if they don’t have the right communication skills, there may be an increase in misunderstandings and a decrease in trust and productivity.
#2 – Employee retention
A major component of HR management and employee retention involves ensuring employees are satisfied with their employer and job role, which will encourage them to stay at the organisation. Training is particularly important and it can include:
- Job training – can enhance existing employees skills and ensure new employees understand their role and can do their job with confidence.
- Company culture training – this provides information on the company’s background, culture and ethics. This type of training can help new employees gain positive insights into the organisation and existing employees an enhanced view of why they should stay.
- Leadership training – this is typically for those employees who are taking on a management role, and can include inclusive leadership, managing virtual teams and inter-cultural communication.
#3 – Employee morale
Another important part of employee development and business psychology is making sure that staff feel valued. Motivation is a big factor that affects the emotional and mental state of employees and influences their output and work habits. Boosting morale can be improved in a range of ways including:
- Measuring morale regularly and making positive changes
- Understanding what employees consider meaningful
- Providing the proper tools and training for them to do their job well
- Offering coaching managers and mentors to assist them with personal growth
- Creating an individual growth plan with all employees
- Maintaining a balance between accountability and independence
- Recognising and rewarding employees
#4 – Teamwork and collaboration
Employees often work in teams and through employee development and training can learn how to collaborate effectively. It also boosts morale, strengthens team member relationships, maximises productivity and can lead to optimised workflow processes.
With those in management positions, it can also enhance their ability to delegate appropriately, deal with difficult people, and manage conflict and different generations in the workplace.
#5 – Diversity and equality
This type of training can involve developing the skills to manage multicultural staff and those with disabilities. Benefits include:
- Employees feel valued and understood.
- Employees learn to be understanding and empathetic to different ways of working and communicating.
- Managers learn better hiring techniques by learning how natural biases can alter how we make decisions.
#6 – Smooth on-boarding
On-boarding introduces new employees to the company’s rules and culture as well as their own responsibilities in their new role. It can also help leaders manage change and ensure a more flexible and versatile workforce.
A great example is employees being able to quickly adapt to market conditions, including the challenges of COVID. It also allows employees to adopt new processes and procedures, such as negotiating new technologies and work-from-home scenarios.
#7 – Technological literacy
On the subject of technology, one important area of employee development is employees being able to deal with digital transformation as technology advances. New technologies can often be intimidating when they are being introduced, but employees are generally open to learning.
Business owners and leaders should demonstrate the importance of digital literacy to their employees, which will help them understand how it can increase their productivity and performance. Training in technological literacy allows companies to streamline and automate processes, and the solution typically makes it easier for employees to perform their jobs. Other benefits include increased employee engagement and job satisfaction and an increased sense of empathy for colleagues in other teams, which can make collaboration between them more effective.
#8 – Employee performance
Many employee development programs revolve around training programs that involve employee performance management. The benefits can lead to improved knowledge, skills and processes, which in turn helps the organisation level-up its performance as a whole. It can also lead to enhanced productivity as employees who have the appropriate job and skills-based training will understand their roles better.
#9 – Employee engagement
Leaders in business understand that one of the most significant benefits of staff development is employee engagement. The primary goal of conducting training programs is to encourage employees to participate in company initiatives. Consistently offering further training can also give employees a sense of belonging and prove to them that the organisation is enthusiastic about their professional development. Enhancing employee skills can also help the organisation attract high calibre staff and promote their business reputation as a good employer.
#10 – Duty of Care and ethics
Both managers and business owners have a Duty of Care to the people they manage from a legal and ethical perspective, which leads to a positive working environment. Additionally, in many organisations these days, it is a legal requirement that employers provide the right support to employees in terms of their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Keen to better understand your legal, moral and professional obligations in terms of employee development? Check out our management and leadership courses and enhance your own skills as well as those of your employees!