attracting and retaining the best talent is key to your success
Here's how employee development can help...
As well as lockdown restrictions easing there’s been more positive news recently with the UK job market showing promising signs of recovery, with job vacancies hitting the highest levels since the start of the pandemic (ONS).
If you’re on the lookout for new talent, or you want to keep your top talent, then you need to be looking at ways to make sure you stand out from the market. Making employee development a priority can help.
As well as improving your employees experience, investing time in your employees’ personal development can help you attract and retain talent, as well as improving productivity. According to LinkedIn, 94% of staff would consider staying with a company longer if there was clear investment in employee development.
“Providing your employees with access to learning and giving them the opportunity to grow is a powerful way to keep employees engaged, and ultimately they’ll be even better at their job now, and in the future”
- Laura Coleman, Head of Learning and Development
Here’s what you need to know about employee development, why it’s important and how to do it…
What is employee development?
Putting it simply, employee development is where you support your teams with improving their skills and helping them grow their own knowledge. As well as supporting them with the skills they need for their own role, its important to help them learn and progress along their career path.
Although personal development is an individual’s responsibility, as an employer it’s important for you to support your staff with it. Here’s why…
Why supporting personal development is good for business:
Attract the best talent:
Employees want to work for a company that will help them improve their skills and help them stay competitive in the current market. If you support your employees with their development advertise this in job descriptions and interviews, this will help you stand out as an employer of choice. But, it’s important to follow through with what you say.
Reduce staff turnover:
As well as attracting new talent into your company, investing time into your employee’s development will help you keep the staff you have. As many as two in three people leave their jobs because of a lack of learning and development opportunities (Totaljobs).
Address skill shortages:
As well as recruiting new talent, one way to address any skill shortages in your organisation is to upskill your current employees. Not only does it help you fill a skill gap, but it also helps your employees gain skills they can use in their career going forward.
Increase productivity and performance:
Employees who have a clear goal will have a better sense of direction and improved focus at work, this can make them more productive. Plus, employees with new and developed skills can help your organisation meet and exceed your business performance expectations.
The Psychology Behind It:
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, personal development plans are at the top of the pyramid as part of “self-actualisation”. So, for those employees whose needs at the bottom of the pyramid are fulfilled, like good pay, working conditions, work relations, and job status they will look at the next step up. This is self-actualisation, which is all about our need for growth, advancement, and creativity. Personal development plans, training, secondments, mentoring and the opportunity for promotion are all parts of this.
How to support your employee’s development:
- Tailor personal development plans to the individual: this may seem obvious, but there’s no one size fits all approach when it comes to personal development. So, make sure that your employees’ personal development is tailored to their strengths, weakness, and areas they want to improve, with achievable aims. It’s helpful to have both long-term goals and day-to-day tasks employees can do that can contribute towards the areas they want to develop.
- Make sure goals are SMART: when we set goals, whether they’re personal or professional, they need to be SMART: specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time bound. Help them divide their goals into manageable steps and ensure that there are ways they can track their progress.
- Consider both technical and soft skills: from technical skills like coding or data analysis to softer skills like communication or leadership, it’s important to make sure your employees are developing all their skills.
- Don’t forget about developing managers: poor management can often affect engagement and staff retention. Many employees who are good at their jobs can often get promoted to a management position without much training on what it takes to be a good manager, so make sure to provide regular develop to your new and existing managers on key skills. This includes time management, communication, emotional intelligence, and leadership.
- Make learning a journey not just a one off: when we’re learning something new, we need to have practice at it and that’s the same with personal development. Try pre and post-workshop activities, digital learning, on-the-job coaching, mentoring and shorter skills based workshops. You could consider rewarding your employees to encourage ongoing learning and development.
What else can you do to attract new talent:
As well as providing your staff with the opportunity to develop their skills, having a well-rounded employee benefits package can help. Get in touch with our experts today to see how we can help your organisation attract and retain staff using employee benefits, rewards, and recognition.