Employees are the representatives of your company and its progress. “What does this mean?”, you may ask. It basically means that your employees’ effectiveness is a reflection of how successful the company will be. Each of your employees has an important role in the machinery that is your business. How they perform has a direct impact on your company’s results. For that reason, employee development can be highly beneficial.
Employee development will lead to multiple positive outcomes. You will witness an improved performance, increased engagement, and of course, employee loyalty. Companies that invest in employee development have a higher chance to retain the best employees. That’s why businesses spend around 164.2 billion dollars on learning and development programs.
Now that we’ve established how relevant employee development is, let’s get to the specific measures that will help you improve the development process.
1. Identify the Right Development Program
Depending on the qualities and skills you want employees to develop, choose the program accordingly. The process of determining which development course you’ll use should be very detailed and methodological.
Gather your team of managers and discuss what employees need to learn. Talk about the aspects where employees perform worst and prioritize the skills that need to be taught.
What you need to focus on when choosing a course or program are the following:
- The department that needs to be advanced
- Skills that need to be adopted
- The current level of skills
- Number of employees who need to take the course
- The time frame you have for the course
- Managers who can overlook the course’s progress
What you also need to consider are the employees’ demographics and their familiarity with technology. Be considerate if your employees haven’t been exposed to advanced technology. In that case, you should opt for a less demanding course.
All of these factors will help you eliminate programs until you find the perfect one that will bring the best results.
2. Introduce Regular but Less Intensive Training
Long and overwhelming programs can scare away the employees and produce a contra effect. The never-ending flow of information will make it hard for employees to remember it all.
The solution is in small and frequent training modules. Such learning methodology will ensure that employees receive a certain dose of information that can stick in their minds. Additionally, consistent training will prevent their knowledge from becoming obsolete.
It is proven that employees who receive frequent on-the-job training have lower levels of stress and higher job satisfaction than their less-educated colleagues.
Successful teaching is distinguished by the moderate presentation of information and patience. Not every employee has the same capacity of information intake and you need to be considerate of that.
3. Encourage Employees to Set Goals
The programs you implement can promote self-esteem if you encourage employees to set goals. Without goal setting, they might not notice how far they have come.
Being aware of the advancements that development programs bring them will motivate them to keep up the good work. It will also evoke an appreciation for the company they work for.
Thinking about the goals isn’t enough. After you introduce the course, suggest to employees that they write their goals down.
People who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them.
Why is that?
Mark Murphy, the CEO of Leadership IQ and the author of Hiring For Attitude has the answer. As he explained in the Forbes article, “Vividly describing your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success, and people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals.”
If they want, employees can also create visual boards that will serve as a reminder of what they will accomplish after the course.
4. Opt for a Flexible Program
People reach the peak of productivity at a different time in a day. What does this mean for your development program? It means that a flexible program will increase the program’s effectiveness.
When a program doesn’t have a set timeline, employees can access the learning platform at the time that suits them best. That’s why so many companies decide to implement e-learning courses, webinars, and online training.
With progress in EdTech, you can find high-quality courses that offer the same results as in-person courses.
Online programs are characterized by higher flexibility and more accessible learning modules. They also come in the form of personalized programs that can be adapted to different departments within the same company.
Allyson Willis, an HR manager at Studicus, shares that her company has been applying e-learning for some time now. “In our experience, e-learning is much more effective than traditional courses. We are able to choose personalized programs that enhance the most important skills,” explains Allyson.
Online learning programs are mostly available on all devices so employees will be able to access them at all times. This means that they can revise the lessons whenever they want.
5. Managers Need to Motivate Employees
Managers who micro-manage employees and ruin their self-esteem will undo all the progress. As team leaders and representatives of the company, managers need to be an example of an ideal employee.
It is up to them to show support and motivate employees throughout the development program. They need to show availability and desire to help out employees perfect their knowledge.
Without managers’ support and encouragement, employees won’t be able to absorb and apply the knowledge successfully. That human factor that managers bring into the e-learning environment can be crucial for fast development.
They can show support through simple questions like:
- Is there anything about the program that you find confusing?
- What would you like to learn within the next training module?
- Are there any obstacles I can help you with?
Improved employee development provides you with benefits that can be noted after a short period. However, you need to keep in mind that this is a long-term process. Learning and development programs need to appropriately conduct to show results. Provide employees with all means for growth and you’ll reward will come in the form of higher productivity and notable success.
About the Author:
Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks, and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at GrabMyEssay. Kristin runs her own blog.