Top 10 Employee Development Tips
Very rarely do employees leave a job over money. More often than not, employee satisfaction is directly correlated to having the opportunity to learn. People want to grow personally, professionally and financially — usually in that order. Here are ten employee training ideas that we’ve found job-seekers value the most:
Photo courtesy of Tiffany Szerpicki (Stock.Xchng)
2. EXPERT KNOWLEDGE: Bring in industry experts for “lunch and learn” sessions, creating a social learning environment.
3. GO VIRTUAL: If funds are limited, offer employees online training through webinars or virtual training sessions.
4. IN THE MIX: Mix up development opportunities between on-the-job and formal training.
5. BACK-TO-SCHOOL: Encourage ongoing learning by subsidizing the cost of continuing education courses. Or consider offering employees external courses on company time — positioned as an employee perk (e.g. a public speaking class, leadership training course or PowerPoint lessons to improve presentations skills).
6. CULTIVATE COACHES: Work towards developing a coaching culture where employees at all levels are encouraged to set aside time for such personal and professional investments into themselves. Provide staff with suggested tools and resources for self-improvement and consider subsidizing such services.
7. S.M.A.R.T.: Help employees create development plans with “S.M.A.R.T.” objectives — specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Ensure that these are tracked on a regular basis (e.g. quarterly).
8. FORMALIZE IT: Create a relevant, up-to-date and concise training reference document for both new hires and existing employees.
9. IN THE SHADOWS: Provide job-shadowing opportunities so employees can learn exactly what is involved in specific positions of interest. Furthermore, help them explore other opportunities within the company that may be outside of their immediate scope.
10. MENTOR ME: Offer mentoring programs that hook up newer hires with more tenured employees. Such opportunities can pass on learnings that could never be captured in training guides. Mentors can help with soft skills such as communication, how to influence and impact others, how to minimize office politics, etc.