One of the areas that companies across the world are emphasizing is employee development. People are a resource, and it’s important to recognize that people who work for your company are going to bring something to the table for you. They may be there in a capacity that you’ve hired them, to work for you and to keep your processes as streamlined as possible. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re not worth the salary that you pay them. Every time you bring on a new employee, you are responsible not only for their continued success in your company, but in their personal development. People don’t take jobs just to put food on the table: they want to learn, expand and be inspired by a company that they can be a part of. Being one of the team that is taking your company to great heights is a privilege for people, and it’s this that should make you want to do everything in your power to further their career – either with you or outside the business – and give them the opportunities to be able to do so.
In the day to day routines of a regular business, there doesn’t ever seem time for personal development. Your business doesn’t have to run that way, if you don’t want it to. You have to make the time to develop your staff so that they are at their peak performance. Let’s not forget that the more that you grow your employees and give them opportunities to learn, the more they will put that education back into your business. As a business leader, you’ll always be looking for ways that you can further your own learning and growth; company owners don’t just reach a ceiling, you know. There are things that you can do, too, to offer more to your staff. For example, you may decide to look for free CPR classes near you if your business is in the practice of building, healthcare or manufacturing. You could then offer the same opportunity to your employees, giving them an education in caring for their fellow colleagues on the floor. You see, the more that you offer your people, the more that they will want to learn while staying loyal to you. Employee development is important for your business and it’s about so much more than increasing their morale and building strong business links. It’s about your employees understanding that you want them to do well and giving them the chances to do so.
Encouraging professional development should be something that you put into your budget, as it doesn’t just benefit them it benefits you as well. The more that you teach them, the more your business will be on the receiving end of their newfound education. So, how can you encourage their development in your workplace?
Staff appreciate feedback. You are not doing your job as a leader if you aren’t keeping up on the development and the education of your people. Your supervisors should be regularly reviewing the performance of the people that are working with them and not just to keep up with whether they are meeting their deadlines. They need to be ensuring that your employees needs are being met, too. Your employees are going to have their own opinions on the way things are run, and there must be a platform for them to be heard. They may have interests in other teams or suggestions on how to do their own job better that they need to run past your leaders, so give them the chance to do this.
You wouldn’t be where you are as a business leader if you didn’t have your potential recognized, and a vital part of the development of an employee is recognizing when they do things right as well as wrong. People need to feel valued and if you are taking a minute out of your day to drop them an email to thank them for their hard work and mentioning where they have gone above and beyond for your business, then they will feel uplifted. They will want to do more for your business and learn from you, and the value that they will feel simply by getting that good feedback will trigger this.
Grow From Within
Where you can, hire internally for positions. If you have roles come up in the company, hire your own people to fill those roles. More often than not, companies overlook the staff that they already have and end up spending unnecessarily to bring people in from the outside. The best way that you can maximize the growth of your employees is to ensure that you offer them more with higher positions. It will make your staff feel like you’re offering more success, because that’s exactly what you are offering.
You have hired a group of employees with a specific skill set, so it makes sense that you would want to maximize the skills that they already have. Take the time to focus on the skills that your staff have and grow on that. For example, your customer service staff could really benefit from a professional in public speaking coming in and speaking to them about their mannerisms and how to speak to people on the phone. When you invest in strengthening the skills that are going to matter most to your company, you are investing in your own business.
Your company isn’t going to be the only place that some of your staff work, and you should get that into your mind now. Focus as if every member of your staff is simply temporary and you’ll be more motivated in how you can make them want to stay permanently. Where you can, you should encourage and advertise classes outside the workplace. If there are school courses on that your staff want to participate in and it has a link to your business in some way, encourage them to take that time paid. As long as their work is completed satisfactorily, it makes sense that you would want your staff to further themselves in any way possible, right?
As a business leader, you’ll have many opportunities to get out and network with a variety of people. It’s important, then, that you open up the chance to network with other people to your staff, too. Networking isn’t just a way to find a new job, but it’s a great way to help your staff develop themselves in the right way and it’s also a good way to train them in the things that they need to know about the industry that they are working in. You are only one person and you can’t get every contact during a networking event. This is a strategic way to get your business noticed, too.
You may have sales staff interested in marketing and marketing staff interested in human resources. People aren’t pigeon-holed into one area of a business, and you should make a point of getting to know their hopes and dreams for their own futures. Some people may see themselves in a department different to where they are working right now, and if you are able to facilitate that training, then you should go for it. The people who work for you will see that you are interested in their development as a human as well as being interested in them as a member of your workforce.
One of the best benefits that you can offer staff existing in your company, or those that you are trying to hire, is tuition reimbursement. By actively encouraging and paying for their education, you have the potential to attract the best in your business. It’s not easy to cherry pick talent when you are sifting through hundreds of resumes for a role that you are offering, but you can offer the best to make sure that you only get the quality employees that you are looking for.
There are many companies out there that are led by those who are uninterested in their staff, viewing them as replaceable pawns and not the assets that they are. If you are the type of leader that is engaging in the lives of their staff, asking interested questions and actively trying to get to know them as people, then you are going to be able to see the value in each of them as an individual. This is inspiring to staff who just want to be seen. Make the professional development of your staff a priority, and you will only churn out the best into the world and they’ll have nothing but good things to say about you and your company.
The way that you treat people matters; not everyone is the same and recognizing your people as the resource that they are is going to help your company grow with a loyal bank of people behind it, pushing it to success.