As a business owner, if you value your employees, you can’t afford to cut employee development from your budget. It may seem like a daunting concept to manage and create a continued and future plan for employee development. Whether salaried or hourly, every person on your team can benefit from a solid employee development program. Unfortunately, it’s frequently forgotten or neglected in the pressure of day-to-day business.
Attract and Retain Employees
Having a solid employee development program can help make hiring and employee retention less of a burden and expense.
A competitive advantage over other similar jobs and wages is in providing employee development as part of the hiring package. A solid employee development program matters:
- It’s beneficial. When looking for a job, employee development can be seen as a benefit and will be weighed as a positive reason to apply with a company. Hourly employees rarely receive the benefits that salaried workers in larger companies receive.
- Loyalty building. Retention is all about preventing employees from quitting. Loyal employees don’t want to seek employment elsewhere. Employees will feel valued knowing their employer is willing to provide training, which fosters loyalty among your team members.
- Reputation boost. Employees will talk about who they enjoy working for and customers will talk about pleasant employees. That kind of chatter can affect sales as well as the hiring process. Being a company that cares enough to provide ongoing training will develop your reputation as a good employer.
- Attract desirable employees. You will attract employees who are looking to better themselves when you offer training, continuing education, conference attendance, or even something as simple as a book purchase allowance. With the understanding that you expect them to participate, that’s an employee you want to hire at the outset.
Current employees will be most familiar with your culture, your day to day routine, and your customer base, so it’s preferable to promote from within when hiring managers and other upper-level employees.
Not everyone will be capable of entering into a leadership position. Training will allow you to learn which employees have an aptitude for such a promotion. An added benefit is the ability to learn in training—rather than in front of customers or suppliers—about your team member’s assets and shortcomings. Someone you initially hire for one role may turn out to be good at that job yet amazing in a different role.
Employee development is a way that you can keep your employees engaged at work and prevent boredom from setting in. Bored employees easily take on negative attitudes, sloppy work habits, and cause damage to relationships with other employees and customers. Interesting training programs and future development events that are fun or challenging give your team things to look forward to and engage with. In this way, the perception of work just plodding along, day-by-day, vanishes.
A well-trained, confident, and engaged employee will want the company to succeed as much as you do. They will produce better work for you and that helps save you money, as employees become more efficient and proficient. Employee development also has the potential to increase sales and output. Employee development should not ever be classified as an expense but as an investment.
Long Term Goals
You will always wonder what kind of leadership you will need in the future, and what your customers need from team members. To improve this skill, you have to anticipate industry changes. Employee development is perpetual and that means that you always have to have an eye on the future. Employee training and development are tightly involved since they are integral to any path you care to chart into the future.
Employee development programs don’t happen without planning, so you’re forced to think ahead. What worked last year might not have lasting effects into the next. It’s possible your culture is shifting according to customer and industry needs, which means you need to attract a different kind of employee and your development offerings need to shift to reflect that.
You should always have both current and future paths of your business in mind when you create an employee development plan. Being aware of relevant employee development means you’ll be a few steps ahead of others in your industry.