One of the most important qualities of a good leader is the ability and desire to develop their employees. Taking an active role in the development of your team demonstrates confidence and concern for the future of the organization.
In order to get the most from your employees, you need to invest time and resources in their development. Annual performance reviews simply aren’t enough. Make a point to sit down with each employee regularly and provide them with specific feedback and areas of improvement.
Here are 5 inexpensive ways to offer development to a team:
1. Read a book together. There is an unlimited supply of highly rated books available to help you succeed. Find some good ones, read and digest them as a team. Many companies have their own libraries and training that are available for the asking. Start your collection today.
2. Conduct “lunch and learn” sessions. Chances are good that everyone on your team has something to offer that can make the team better. Bring in your lunch or buy lunch for the team. Take turns sharing with each other something you already know or are learning over lunch. Ask employees to come prepared to talk about a topic ahead of time.
3. Network and visit other businesses. Allow the team to visit other businesses in the area, either individually or as a group. Sometimes the quickest ways to promote change is to introduce leaders to other environments. It is a great way to develop new ideas and improve upon what you are doing as you see what others are doing firsthand. Be sure everyone goes expecting to bring something back to the team they have learned. Local groups that share your interest in a particular topic, offer a great forum to learn and share information for little or no cost.
4. Use online resources. Technology allows for some great online training. Gather the team around a computer and learn without leaving the office. Find a great webinar or blog post that you feel would help develop employees and encourage them to spend some time out of their day to watch and participate in the webinar or read the blog.
5. Hold in-house classes. In-house training is an excellent way to provide training to a large portion of the workforce without a hefty price tag. Use the experts you already have. If one of your employees excels at topic or subject you are learning, have them present to the rest of your team. Your internal experts could also serve as coaches and mentors.
An organization’s goals are achieved through its employees, the company’s most valuable asset. Employees need ongoing training to ensure that they are learning new and best practices while contributing to the success of the company. Best-in-class organizations place high value on the development of their people.
You don’t need a huge training budget to make substantial changes in your organization. Though it can be argued that the more you invest, the more return on your investment you are likely to see. Consider these methods to stretch your training dollars.