Employee development is a joint initiative of employee as well as the employer to improve or elevate the existing skills, knowledge and abilities of an individual. Employees are the most valuable assets to an organisation and as such it is of utmost importance for the employees to keep themselves abreast with the latest developments in the industry so as to survive the cut-throat competition.
Organisations should go above and beyond to encourage employees to participate in employee development activities and here are five reasons employee development is important to your company:
1) Helps attract and retain Good employees
Employee retention as well as the hiring process is a huge challenge for a lot of employers. There are a lot of highly qualified and experienced people applying for the little jobs available. This challenge can be greatly reduced by having a solid employee development program.
Most employees nowadays take the employee development seriously and it is one of the factors they take into consideration when looking for a job, therefore, providing employee development as part of the hiring package gives your company a very competitive advantage over other organisations advertising for the same vacancy.
Employee development also builds and fosters loyalty among employees. Loyal employees are not prone to quitting which is what employee retention is all about. Employees are human beings and as such need to feel important and needed.
Knowing that an employer is willing to use the company’s resources to provide employee development and training makes them feel important and hence making them loyal.
Offering employee development increases an organisations reputation to both the customers and prospective employees. Reputation almost always precedes personality and that is why organisations need to ensure that their reputation is protected and enhanced in all ways possible.
Having a reputation as a good employer who cares enough to provide training for the employees is great both for how the clients will perceive your company as well as for hiring new employees.
Employee development helps bring in good people. Offering training, continuing education, conference attendance, seminar involvement or even something as simple as a book allowance with the consensus that you expect them to fully participate will go a long way in attracting employees who are looking to develop and better themselves. That’s an employee to hire and keep at all costs.
2) Helps Create Promotable Employees
A proper and solid employee development and training plan will create a pool of capable workers, create workers ready for promotion and help identify the weaknesses and strengths of your employees.
Employee development both trains and equips your current crop of employees for possible future promotion from daily worker to management as well as shows you which employees have the aptitude for such a promotion. It is very common to see companies advertising to the public the top positions such as managers and other top-level employees.
This is because they cannot find someone from within to take up such a position. This is brought about by the simple reason that there is no sufficient employee training to prepare them for these positions. Employee development bridges this gap by providing the employees with the necessary skills and competencies to take up these positions as and when they arise.
Hiring management staff from within is a very good idea. This is because there is no one else more familiar with the day-to-day business operations of a company and the customers as someone who has been working with the company for some time.
Hiring from within saves the company the time someone from outside will take to get used to the organization’s operations. But in light of all this, not all long time employees are ready for such a step up and promoting them when they aren’t leads to problems. Employee development and training helps to eliminate this problem by equipping the employees with the necessary skills early enough.
3) Keeps Employees Engaged at Work
Having all your employees busy and engaged at work is something every employer wants to see, but it’s not always going to be this way every day, there are days when the workload will be reduced thus giving employees a lot of free time leading to boredom at the workplace. This is not desirable because bored employees are a recipe for disaster.
The employees will easily take on negative attitudes, sloppy work habits including reporting late for work and may even cause damage to relationships with other employees, customers and even the employer.
Employee development is a sure way to keep the employees in check and even stop these problems from even arising. Through the development and training activities, employees will be engaged at all times thereby preventing the destructive kind of boredom from setting in.
Interesting training programs and future development events that are both fun and challenging to look forward to will keep the employees occupied. This will go a long way in eliminating the plodding daily feel to a job that leads to the dreaded boredom and idleness.
4) Helps To Save and Earn Money
Investment is all about saving today so as to get a better return on your capital tomorrow. The same can be said of employee development and training. It is said that a good employee is like money in the bank, he/she will come in handy at one point in time. A well trained, confident and engaged employee is going to deliver better work for the company in the long run.
This is going to save the organisation a lot of money. Instead of hiring someone from outside, the company can use personnel from within since they are more efficient and proficient. Using employees from within is in the long run going to save the company a lot of money while at the same time earning more from the employees increased efficiency and expertise. It’s also not a given that someone from elsewhere will come in and make the desired impact.
In the long run employee development has the potential to increase output of employees leading to increased sales and higher profits for the company as a result. This is the reason why employee development should be viewed as an investment instead of an expense.
5) Forces you to Look to the Future
Employee development is a continuing and dynamic thing, the relevant skills today may be obsolete tomorrow. This means that as an employee you always have to have an eye on the future at all times otherwise the company will stagnate.
Therefore, as an employer, you need to ask yourself several questions in line with the goals and objectives of the company, some of the questions include; what kind of leadership will I need? Whatwill my customers need from my employees? What industry changes may I expect in the near future and in the long run?
Keen analysis of these questions brings out the fact that employees are integral to any answers or plans you might come up with regarding these questions. Thus, their training and development is intertwined with the success of the company.
This is what forces the employer to look ahead because employee development programs do not just happen without good planning. The business culture might be shifting according to customer and industry needs and therefore the training that worked yesterday might not work tomorrow, hence planning.
An employee development plan that is going to work necessarily forces you to consider the future path of your business which is a good thing because staying on top of your toes as far as relevant employee development is concerned means you will be thinking ahead of the curve for your business.