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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

5 Ways To Improve Employee Development At Your Company

Investing in the development of employees is the most important and rewarding thing a manager can do. For some reason, though, it’s often the last thing on a manager’s “to do” list.

Employee development is a long-term initiative, but it also leads to short-term benefits like increased loyalty and improved performance and engagement. Here are five ways you can begin improving employee development at your company:

Lay a Foundation of Trust and Mutual Respect

Employees need to know that discussing their development isn’t just a sneaky way to get them to admit their weaknesses. To inspire them to take ownership of the process, you have to start by building trust. Help them to see that you're invested in their success and on their side.

Turn Weekly Meetings Into Learning Opportunities

Employee development isn’t something that happens only in an annual review, nor something you can just pass off to the HR department. All of your regular interactions, from reviews, to project check-ins, to weekly meetings, are chances to develop your team. Consider ways to integrate a development mindset into your regular meetings.

Ask Questions

Few people respond well to simply being told what they need to do. Instead of dictating the process, involve your employees by asking good questions. Coaching questions force employees to figure things out for themselves. Those queries can also be revisited after an assignment is completed as a way to reflect on lessons learned and cement the new knowledge or skill.

Remove Barriers

Many organizations are rigid in their organizational structure and processes, which can make it challenging to implement some cross-functional development and facilitate dynamic growth and high-performance training. It’s up to leadership to bridge silos, knock down walls, and design a system that encourages a fluid approach to learning and working. Today’s generation of workers are used to change and enjoy open work environments that let them explore. Take the barriers away and watch people flourish.

Set the Example

An employee will see the value of the development process when they see their current leadership continue to develop personally and professionally. By modeling this behavior, leaders build credibility and the trust necessary to encourage employees to participate in development-building activities. It shows employees that development is part of the organization’s culture. It sends the message that it’s important for, and expected from, everyone in the organization to be part of a continual improvement process that nurtures from within.

When people are given the tools to do their jobs well and training to advance in their careers, they feel supported and happy. Not only are they likely to stay longer, but they will also perform better and contribute to overall company growth. And your reputation for stellar employee development might just encourage the best and brightest candidates to join your team.

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  1. Hi Tim,

    Great post! A major part of integrating Lean manufacturing into a company, and in general, is employee response and behavior. You make an excellent point when you said "an employee will see the value of the development process when they see their current leadership continue to develop personally and professionally". I know for me, when I see my higher ups developing in their roles as time goes on and accepting feedback, it makes me want to work even harder and do an even better job than I already do.

  2. TIm, I really liked how discussing employee development isnt always a sneaky way to get them to admit their weaknesses. Instead have them admit it and realize what they struggle in, so that in the future they can work on it and turn their weakness into a strength.In addition to this when employees see upper management work on their own weaknesses it will inspire them to work harder. Nice article