You know your employees want a stable salary and a few perks with their jobs, but don’t forget the importance of employee development opportunities. According to research from Gallup, 59 percent of millennial employees say they prioritize the chance to grow when searching for a job. Forty-four percent of Gen X employees and 41 percent of baby boomers feel the same.
Therefore, it’s important to consider whether your business helps its staff develop. Not only will doing so attract the best talent, it will also help keep your top employees.
Provide Opportunities for Growth
The first step in developing employees is establishing opportunities for them to do so. Entrepreneur suggested offering development activities throughout the year to help employees learn new skills. Even if these don’t lead to a direct promotion, they still give employees the opportunity to grow.
Establishing a mentorship program that pairs new employees with experienced team members is another way of supporting growth. Such programs help novices learn their jobs faster and give them a trusted person to confide in.
“Cross-training gives employees a better understanding of the overall company structure.”
Forbes suggested offering employees the chance to learn a skill outside of their current position. Cross-training gives employees a better understanding of the overall company structure, letting them see how they contribute to the business in a new light.
Create Personal Development Plans
Two employees in the same department don’t always have the same aspirations. Therefore, it’s a bad idea to assume that one route to advancement will work for an entire organization. Instead, managers should take the time to meet with their staff one-on-one to understand what each of them want and help them set goals and expected outcomes accordingly.
Sitting down with each employee is a good idea even if they do share goals. It shows that managers and business leaders care in their personal development regardless, and this expression ultimately increases employee engagement.
Use Frequent Check-Ins and Ongoing Performance Management
After employees have outlined their goals for development – as well as the objectives and key results necessary to meet and exceed these goals – they need frequent check-ins and feedback from their managers. A frequent, informal review process keeps employees reflecting on their past performance and gives them the chance to develop new ways to improve. In addition, ongoing performance management keeps employee goals at the forefront of their minds. This way, they’re less likely to forget or ignore their ambitions and OKRs like they might in the case of annual or semi-annual reviews.
As Gallup noted, many companies miss this chance to invest in their employees and reduce turnover. Using goal-setting techniques and ongoing performance development™ gives job seekers and current staff the opportunities they seek in their careers.