A common misconception is that employee training only happens with new hires. This is certainly not the case, as one of the key strategies to maintaining a strong and productive workforce is to invest in employees and focus on internal promotion, succession planning, and employment development. Creating a well-thought-out employee development program will help improve your employee productivity and retention, as well as the reputation of your organization.
Employee development programs should be more than just sending your employees off to a one-day commercially advertised course or program. The development program should be aligned with your business goals and the skills that are important to provide a progressive skill base.
Creating an employee development program
The following points will help you to create an employee development program:
- Invite discussions on development and career improvement with your employees.
- Establish formal training opportunities using either in-house expertise or out-of-house-programs that fit into the skill base that you would like to achieve.
- Create a formal mentoring program within your organization, again providing training for the mentors.
- Recognize and reward employee participation. Find out what each employee considers rewarding, as different people will value different things (e.g., a gift card, time off, advancement, a special excursion).
- Support and encourage cross-training and movement within your organization.
A company that wants to strengthen its bond with its employees needs to invest in a development program. This involves creating opportunities for role enhancement within the company as well as training and skill development that allow employees to enhance their employability in the market. Well-trained employees perform better and have greater self-esteem and commitment toward work.