Today’s workplace is a fast-paced and competitive market, forcing companies to differentiate themselves in order to keep up with competition. One of the many factors that makes a company stand out is the type of employees that put in the work behind the scenes. A company’s employees are vital to the functionality and progress of the organization.
One of the most important steps an employer can take to create loyal and long-lasting relationships with employees is to invest in their personal and professional development. It is inevitable that employees will possess some shortcomings in terms of work-related skills and knowledge; however, employees that participate in development programs often strengthen and fine-tune their skills, ensuring improvement in job-related tasks and productivity. These employees are then better able to adapt in a fast-paced industry, helping the company end up on top amongst competitors. Pursuing employee development also cultivates a culture of learning and knowledge within the organization that encourages employees to continue learning and sharing knowledge with one another. An engaging and educational work environment can strengthen bonds between team members and promote employee interaction, paving the foundation for success.
An online survey distributed by Right Management in 2015 revealed that only 17% of managers are directly involved in the career development of the employees they oversee, and only 15% are “sometimes” engaged. This leaves 68% of managers having no direct involvement with career development at all!
At Combined Resource Solutions, during exit interviews many respondents mention a lack of opportunity for professional and personal development as a reason for leaving. One former employee states, “I joined the company because I was under the impression I would be able to move up quickly. I thought I would be a GM after a year….. but I never received the development I would have needed in order to become a General Manager.” Another former employee emphasizes the lack of job growth and development, “I left because once I was out of training and into my location, I didn’t get any development from my supervisor. I was left on my own…..There were a lot of things I still didn’t know how to do and customers were nasty to me, especially when I was there alone…..”
Employees who work hard for their company expect and deserve intangible gains in addition to their salary. When a person accepts a job at a certain company, it’s because they want to learn, grow, and improve their professional and personal development skills – aspects that an employer has a great deal of control over. By investing in their employees, employers make the statement that they not only care about their staff as hard workers, but as individuals.
In the article, “Why Employee Development Is Important, Neglected And Can Cost You Talent”, Victor Lipman states, “Taking an honest interest in someone builds loyalty. Loyal employees are more engaged. Engaged employees are more productive.” Companies that invest in their employees see much better results in their overall performance. Investing in the development of your employees gives them a sense of accomplishment and value. It will also give them confidence and motivation to take on more challenges while giving your organization the fuel and foundation to become stronger and more relevant within your industry.