People development isn’t just important to a company, it is also one of the more neglected aspects of management and business planning. Helping your staff shape the direction of their careers is tied directly to your growth as a company and achieving your business goals. Training should never be an afterthought or baked into a one-time on-boarding exercise.
No training program can mean a loss of top young talent and high IP (intellectual property) talent.
People development programs present a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of employees, but also helps to stem early employee exits. When you satisfy a person’s need for on-the-job development, they value these opportunities. When we feel valued we feel wanted.
Understandably management often views training as expensive, time-consuming and taking folks away from billable projects. However, despite these potential drawbacks, training and development provides both the individual and organization as a whole with benefits that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment.
The return on investment from training and development of employees should be considered a no brainer. So many organizations are constantly in a state of upheaval, reorganizing and trying to do more with less. In this environment, we tend to focus on the day-to-day operations. We use the excuse that there is no time for training.
However, here’s the bottom line.
Training and development programs improve employee performance — the employee who receives the necessary training is more able to perform in their job, thus increasing efficiency and productivity.
Training has to come from the heart, it can’t be mandatory, it has to be focused on the individual. This is why training goes hand-in-hand with mentoring and the development of an on-going development program for the individual. When people see you take a real interest in their future, it creates a genuine connection. This connection helps to build employee loyalty. Development planning should be something you take a real personal interest in, you need to understand what learning is need and unique to each individual employee.
Thus, training builds loyalty and accountability, which means increased productivity. Taking an honest interest in a person’s growth builds loyalty and engagement. Engaged folks are more productive.
Training also gives folks a greater understanding of their responsibilities within their role, and in turn can build their confidence in doing their job. This confidence will enhance their overall performance. Employees who are competent not only helps them to complete work but will add value to the work being done.
Capable, ambitious employees want training, mentoring and coaching. They want to feel valued and be valued. Development programs improve employee satisfaction and morale and creates a learning environment that solves problems.
It also addresses an employee’s weaknesses. Most employees will have some weaknesses in their workplace skills. Training allows you to strengthen the competencies that each employee needs to improve on. This brings your folks up to a higher competency level which helps reduce any weak links within the organization who may rely heavily on others to complete basic work tasks.
Providing training creates a more knowledgeable staff with employees who can help one another as needed, work in teams or independently without constant supervision.
Training programs are vital to increasing innovation and building new strategies and products. When we up-skill our people, we encourage creativity and practicing new learning. New ideas, thinking and behaviors can be formed in the organization as a direct result of training and development.
To maintain your company’s health, development of competencies are essential to reach your future organizational goals. This can mean building up current employees for succession and future leadership roles or developing people to fill vital educational and changing role needs so that your company can remain competitive.
People development programs do not have to be elaborate, but they do have to be guided. You need to understand your employees, recognize their skills and (personal)needs and guide them to fill in their competency gaps. When it is done properly, the payoff can be substantial. It means reducing employee turnover. Your people are more likely to feel valued if they are invested in and therefore, less likely to move-on. Training and development directly reduce recruitment costs that go along with employee retention.
Training also enhances your company culture and reputation. It helps make your brand more attractive than others for potential hires. Training can be used to help meet potential new employee needs and can be a key differentiator and deciding factor. It keeps people engaged from day one.
To learn more about how organizational development can assist you in developing training programs that are aligned with your corporate goals, reach out to Ed today.