Why Employee Development is Necessary

By: Kim Theobald, Director of Human Resources

Kim Theobald

Director of HR Consulting

Why Employee Development is Necessary

A successful employee development strategy plays an important role in growing a company’s competitive advantage. Showing interest in an employee’s individual growth and development, within and outside of the company, is key to retaining top talent. There are many ways to create an employee development plan, but the best plans are typically multifaceted. Employees are one of the company’s greatest assets, so what are we doing to develop and retain them?

Successful companies understand that one of the keys to remaining competitive in the market is developing a strategy to attract and retain top talent. That strategy should involve employee engagement through communication, acknowledgement, and opportunity. Creating a platform for things like training, mentoring, and coaching will allow for an environment where employees can grow and succeed. Not only will this strategy help engage employees, but it will improve the overall employee experience.

Training

Providing employees with training opportunities can help maintain an engaged and technically proficient staff. When planning training programs, companies should consider some of the following questions:

  • Where can we increase performance?
  • Are there ways to add to our products or service offerings by training staff on something new?
  • What knowledge will give us an advantage over our competitors?

Engage employees by asking what kind of training they would find beneficial. Cross-training can be useful in transferring knowledge among employees. Setting goals like learning, performance, and behavioral objectives can be valuable in assessing the results of training.

Coaching

Employees need – and want – clearly defined goals from management. Coaching provides the opportunity for management to get the desired results by guiding employees. This can be done by taking the time to convey specifics, checking in, and giving feedback on projects. It is important to have a conversation throughout the entire coaching process, instead of just giving feedback on the results. The following guidelines should be considered when coaching employees:

  • Be clear about what you want to accomplish
  • Convey specific criteria and model the desired result
  • Create timelines and check-ins along the way
  • Provide feedback and give suggestions

Mentoring

While coaching is a short-term process, mentoring provides for long-term growth and development. Experienced managers can share their knowledge and provide guidance to potential future leaders of the company. It is important to enlist the help and guidance of the company’s current leaders in developing such a program.  This will allow for a solid mentoring program ingrained in company culture. Mentoring programs can provide the following benefits:

  • Provide for greater retention of employees
  • Create a positive workplace culture
  • Build leadership, interpersonal, and development skills
  • Provide for knowledge transfer when employees retire
  • Help employees realize the value of networking

For more information on this and other HR-related topics, please contact Clearview’s Human Resources Consulting team at hr@cviewllc.com, or call 410-415-9700.

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