Employee Development – a necessity ?

emp developmentDo the true assets of an organization, its employees, need to undergo development activities to help them grow and develop ?

We need to remember that employees are striving continuously to achieve the organizations objectives and they have their expectations in return. It could be in the shape of increments, bonuses or monetary rewards but research has shown that recognition, appreciation and acknowledgement of contribution work better in motivating them. Further there is nothing more satisfying than acquiring skills that equip one better for the current job as well as future growth.

Retention is closely linked with growth and all employees need to look forward to the future. They need to grow with the passage of time in order to remain motivated. They also need to acquire new skills and techniques to equip themselves for newer and higher level roles, including keeping abreast with technology and be aware of latest developments in order to deliver results in a dynamic market.

However, many managers view employee development as an optional requirement, not realizing the fact that this thinking can have an impact on the short term performance of the organization as well as its long term growth. They view training as an expense and do not comprehend that it is actually an investment with a direct current as well as long term impact on results. But in order to realize the benefit it’s essential to do a “Needs Analysis” to be aware of what your return on investment is and identify the deficiencies that need to be corrected to provide the gain you are looking for the employees and company.

FOR AN EMPLOYEE :

  • Development is important to enhance skills and upgrade existing knowledge to improve performance. Trainings and development activities create an awareness of what’s new.
  • The professional as well as personal growth of employees is linked to development. Learning and development activities prepare employees for future growth as well as expand their skill set.
  • Employee develop a sense of pride when they are selected to undergo training and development activities and feel confident of their future when their organization invests time and money to train them.
  • Employees like to acquire new skills on the job. In fact the employee development process is key to identifying and extracting the best out of employees.
  • Having an employee development process helps an employee to do a self / need analysis. They can identify where they are lacking and what they need to do to improve performance, deliver better results and equip themselves for the future

FOR A MANAGER :

  • Training and development initiatives help their team to boost performance, benefitting the organization and yielding higher profits.
  • Fostering employee development creates a “learning culture” in the organization where every employee is motivated to learn new skills and acquire new learning. Having a team of developed employees will make it easier for a manager to focus on their careers.
  • A manager can play the role of mentor and encourage employees to instill the habit of reading and self development in themselves. They can encourage employees to utilize available facilities in the organization and register for online courses which would help them enhance their knowledge and skills in their jobs. .
  • Finally a manager needs to assess an employee’s performance from time to time. Evaluate the gaps between the current stage and desired stage or level of expertise. Guide, counsel and mentor their team to higher levels of performance.

The dynamics of the 21st century market calls for a continual process of learning and development for a business’s continued growth and success. In the world economy of today if your people and businesses are not learning and moving ahead then they is going to fall back. It is the employees who are the ones to produce your products, manage them and deliver them to the customer day in day out So, if they don’t learn, the business will not learn to move as required according to changing circumstances.

Organizations who train their employees do not face the problem of employee attrition. Employees rarely leave organizations where they are being trained and developed and can see a career path in front of them.

Even in Pakistan attracting the right talent and retaining them are a challenge. Research shows that the wise employer should start to invest in the training and development of employees for the following reasons :

  • 76% EMPLOYEES WANT OPPORTUNITIES FOR CAREER GROWTH – Studies show that non-financial motivators can be just as effective, if not more, than monetary rewards. Employees look for learning and development opportunities that will help them on their professional journey in the long run.
  • 25% EMPLOYEES WOULD BE MORE SATISFIED AT WORK IF GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO WHAT THEY DO BEST – Managers need to keep this in mind, that employees want to be good at what they do, they want to succeed in their position. Usually that they aren’t given the tools or opportunities to do so. Remember that learning, development and training are all great ways to help employees reach their full potential.
  • TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT SPENDS HAVE RISEN BY 25% IN USA SINCE THE LAST RECESSION – It highlights the fact that employers are looking to attract talent, bridge the skill gap and give employees a reason to stay with the organization.
  • RESEARCH SHOWS THAT OVER 70% OF LEARNING ON THE JOB OCCURS INFORMALLY – Informal learning processes need a formal coat to ensure that they are aligned to organizational needs, like 360 reviews, talent management process and also performance feedback in a transparent manner.
  • A SHOCKING STATISTIC STATES : 40% EMPLOYEES WHO RECEIVE POOR JOB INDUCTION / TRAINING LEAVE THEIR POSITIONS WITHIN THE FIRST YEAR -Reasons given are by these employees are lack of skills training and development are why they chose to voluntarily leave their positions.

Summing up and put very simply, training and development efforts by an organization are seen by employees as an investment in them. It is a known in the leadership circles that rewards and recognition are powerful motivators, but it’s a lesser-known fact that employee development is in high demand as a motivator. .

Your employees are your most valuable asset. Invest in them thoughtfully and strategically, and you’ll reap rewards that pay off now and for years to come.

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