Employee Development... What does this even mean and where do I start?
Posted by The O'Connor Group on January 28, 2021
The workplace is fast-paced with shifting priorities. Most days, there are simply not enough hours in the day. However, it is critical that organizational leaders take the time to invest in their employees through learning and development activities as well as to encourage and support by setting aside the time for those opportunities. If the organizational culture doesn’t practice what they preach, the return on investment will simply not be as rich.
If learning and development seems like an overwhelming task, don’t worry! We have some ideas!
Have you thought about a Mentorship Program? Mentoring matches less experienced employees with more experienced colleagues. Mentorship programs can be loosely organized or a more formally structured program. At its barest bones, a mentorship consists of a safe space between mentor and mentee, at a regular cadence, with the goal of expanding the mentee’s current knowledge base.
For example, do you have an up and comer who needs to further understand business financials? Or perhaps this individual has a hand in field support but has little operations experience. Pairing this individual with a Senior Finance employee or a Director of Operations can make a tremendous impact on career development! Whether the mentorship program is formal or informal, the mentee will absorb valuable knowledge, develop a more collaborative relationship with a new department, and will experience increased job satisfaction and engagement.
Many companies prefer to budget for reimbursement of outside learning and development opportunities. Do you have a CPA on staff who requires credits to keep his or her certification? A PMP who wants to continue self-education? Adding an educational/professional curriculum reimbursement policy will increase internal morale and double as a recruitment tool! Not every organization supports learning and development, but one who does can be much more desirable to an outside candidate while also retaining internal talent.
Do you still need another suggestion? You could also consider what the HR world coins as a “stretch” assignment. A stretch assignment gives employees a chance to learn while doing real work. For example, do you want to start a company newsletter? Are you trying to pinpoint your Company’s secret sauce? Is there an annual town hall or off-site that requires planning (Post Covid19 of course)? Appoint a diverse team, which consists of employees you want to retain and invest in, to the task! We recommend regularly meeting with the group to provide feedback and emphasize the next steps.
The project will tackle a necessary task, increase team collaboration, provide moral boosting facetime with senior leadership, and expose the team to an outside of the box experience that supports leadership and upward mobility. Per SHRM, experts say that people who have experiences characterized as "accelerators" of potential will be more likely to succeed.
Benefits of L&D
As your Company continues to grow, you may invest in a learning management system with an annual curriculum or choose to hire a Director of L&D. Whatever path you choose, training new and experienced employees will improve employee performance, increase job satisfaction, reduce turnover, add a competitive recruitment advantage, and decrease skill gaps!
If you need help with implement any of these strategies into your workplace, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. The O’Connor Group makes no representations as to the completeness, suitability, or validity of any information contained herein and will not be liable for any errors or omissions.