The most successful business owners understand that valuing their employees contributes to the value and success of their company.
How employers express that value is unique to each company, but one of the most prominent ways is through providing professional development opportunities for staff. These opportunities, and the incentives that drive them, help build a stronger culture in your workplace, improving not only productivity but employee satisfaction as well.
By helping your company’s employees to learn and grow into stronger and more skilled individuals, your company will see lower turnover, saving significant amounts of money on recruiting and employment costs. But helping employees is worth more than just financial savings. It’s the right thing to do.
1. Get to Know Your Employees
The first step toward helping your employees grow is learning what they want. That requires getting to know them on a personal, individual level. Prioritize having discussions with them to ask where they see themselves personally and professionally over the next few years.
Once you know where they want to be, you can work on a plan to help them get there. Over time, remember to check in with them. Ask how they’re progressing and how they feel about the opportunities they’ve been provided. By incorporating their feedback, you can continue to tailor this plan as they progress.
2. Create a Formal Professional Development Program
In addition to working with your employees in a one-on-one fashion, you should also consider creating a company-wide professional development program that provides education and supplemental skills training. These programs can be carefully tailored to each employee’s strengths, weaknesses, skills and abilities to help guide them on the path to progress.
3. Provide Opportunities to Use New Skills
You’ve helped your employees to learn new skills. Now let them use what they’ve learned. Work with them to provide new challenges that can leverage those skills. Not only does this give them the satisfaction of knowing their work went toward something meaningful, but it can even help increase their productivity and the quality of their work. Remember, professional development isn’t just beneficial to the employee, it provides real benefits to your organization over time. It enables and reinforces a deeper, stronger bench!
4. Don’t Forget the Extracurriculars
Continue to invest in your employees well after their original goals have been met. Always provide them with new opportunities to learn and grow like professional training programs, leadership courses and apprenticeships. Use these opportunities to bring new skillsets into your company, rather than having to hire new talent who won’t be as familiar with your organization. Ultimately, these employees can become the engines that drive success going forward. If you trust them to provide that value, they will.
Professional development opportunities will pay dividends across your organization, but it requires a meaningful commitment in both time and dollars to do it right. By increasing employee engagement and satisfaction, they will pass that along through more positive and meaningful approaches with each customer. This ensures your customer experience is top notch, resulting in higher rates of engagement and satisfaction from the customer as well. You’ll even face lower hiring and recruiting costs and see less turnover through higher employee retention rates. The investment you make in your employees now is one that’s sure to pay off over time.
The views of the author of this article do not necessarily represent the views of Gradifi. We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained here. Readers should consult their own attorneys or other tax or financial advisors to understand the tax, financial and legal consequences of any strategies mentioned in this article.