Professional growth is something that all great employees strive for in their daily routine, but it isn’t always the easiest thing to foster. There are business deadlines and important meetings, along with a shrinking bottom line that makes some professional programs out of reach for even the largest organizations. Creating an employee development program that works is a fluid process that will require adjustments and changes, but retaining top employees and helping them progress in their career with your organization will make it worth the effort.
A strong development program starts on the employee’s first day of work. Make sure to have a great on-boarding process so your employees start off on the right foot, and provide new employees with a mentor so they are able to learn about your organization and the nuances involved in your industry. Here are some tips to help your employees grow without breaking the bank:
Set SMART goals. Meet with your employees on a monthly or quarterly basis and set individualized goals. Make sure that their goals follow the SMART protocol and are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. This will make sure that employees and managers understand the goals and put a plan in place to make sure they are accomplished.
Make their work engaging. Provide employees with meaningful opportunities that make a difference within your organization. This will encourage employees to take ownership of their projects and take the steps necessary to learn more to complete their projects.
Cross-train employees. Allowing for variety in an employee’s training will encourage them to embrace a larger role within the company. In addition, this will also allow them to step back from their current projects and come back to them with a fresh perspective.
Promote collaboration. Fellow employees can be the best teachers. Support them in sharing their own knowledge with colleagues. In addition, have a place for employees to share interesting upcoming webinars or eBooks that they have found valuable.
Encourage employee input. Allow employees to develop and create suggestions for future development programs. This will help increase your employees’ knowledge base, while fostering an open and inclusive environment — ultimately resulting in happier employees who strive for growth.
How do you encourage employee development within your organization? Tweet us your comments @taketheview!