Employee development may be a long-term initiative, but it also leads to short-term benefits like increased worker loyalty and improved performance and engagement. This is especially true in the uncertain times that we have been living in for the past few years. It is more important now than ever to invest in your employees’ skills and give them the opportunity to better themselves. Investing in the development of your employees is beneficial for every party involved. Your employees will hone their abilities and find new ways to approach their work, the overall productivity of your company will improve, and you’ll build a cohesive workplace culture. Here are some different ways that you can begin improving employee development at your company.
Coaching and Mentoring
One of the many responsibilities of being a manager is to pass on what they have learned during their time at the company to their subordinates. Employees, especially newer ones, will look to their manager as a model for how they should approach their work. In this way, the job of a manager isn’t very different from a coach or a mentor. It’s important that organizations encourage managers to mentor their subordinates. This will develop the skills of new workers and improve workplace relations between everyone involved. When managers are close with their workers, the entire team works more efficiently and will have a more positive perception of their job.
You can ease into coaching in the workplace by asking your employees questions that are designed to make them think about how they work. For instance, ask them what skill they could learn to be more effective in their role. This will identify an opportunity for you to advise your workers and develop their skills.
Remember to use plenty of positive reinforcement when coaching your subordinates. Constantly receiving criticism can be disheartening to workers who are learning new skills or processes. Reward the progress of your employees with some kind words, public recognition of their improvement, or even a gift card for a local coffee shop. You’ll be amazed at how far a little recognition goes.
Professional Corporate Training
One of the most effective ways to directly improve your company’s employee development is to invest in professional corporate training. There are several kinds of corporate training ranging from leadership development to diversity and inclusion. The type of corporate training you need will depend on the employee being trained, what their role is, and their current level of experience. You’ll also have to take the company’s current situation into account as well. For instance, if your company is currently undergoing a major transition in management, then you may consider investing in a change management consultant to help you navigate such a turbulent time.
Here are a few different kinds of professional corporate training:
- Leadership Development
- Diversity and Inclusion
- LMS Selection and Implementation
- Sales Enablement
- Organizational Development
Develop “Soft Skills”
Soft skills are skills that aren’t directly related to a person’s role in an organization, but that are still necessary in order to successfully maintain that position. For example, self-regulation and motivation are two soft skills of being an eCommerce order fulfillment center worker. These skills may not be necessary for shipping products to their location, but they are still incredibly important for consistently completing work on time. Oftentimes, these soft skills can be just as important as the intellectual know-how required to perform a specific task. Organizations that develop the soft skills of their workers generally benefit from improved worker relations and communication. This is because many of these soft skills that are used in the workplace are also useful for social interaction. In this way, developing the soft skills of your employees will bring your entire brand closer together.
Enhance Cross-departmental collaboration
Most businesses function in a strictly departmental style. Under a departmental operation style, businesses have specialized teams dedicated to specific tasks. You can think of different departments within a business as almost functioning as an assembly line. The product design team finalizes blueprints, then the marketing team creates ads and packaging for it, then senior management will approve it, and finally, the product can be manufactured and sold. This process works great, but it also leaves very little room for collaboration between the different departments involved in making a product.
Under a more collaborative model, the different departments work together between each step to work out any kinks. For instance, in-house manufacturers that physically deal with the product every day may have ideas that the design team could implement in a newer version of the product. The primary benefit of this more collaborative business model is that the final product is almost always well-thought-out. Products that have been a result of expert collaboration are usually better-made products that have very few shortcomings.