You may have hired determined, hardworking employees who are passionate about excelling at your business. But somewhere along the line, the employees began losing their engagement. As an employer, you can’t force employees to stay at your business. But, you can encourage engagement and discourage turnover.
Offering traditional benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and casual Fridays might not cut it. According to a Gallup poll, 87% of millennials and 69% of non-millennials say that development is important to them in a job.
Let’s dive into what you can do to emphasize employee development.
5 Ways to encourage employee development
Employee development is the process of growing a worker’s skills and knowledge.
Showing employees you care about their development can boost your business’s bottom line, build loyalty, decrease boredom, maximize workforce productivity, and reduce employee turnover.
Offering employee development opportunities makes your compensation package more attractive to talented job seekers. Plus, isn’t knowledge invaluable?
Here are some ways you can encourage employee development.
Advance employee positions
A dead-end job with no room for promotion is not conducive to employee development. The employees who want to develop their knowledge and skills are also interested in furthering their careers and challenging their abilities.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, workers who were not promoted were more likely to leave their company to go somewhere that would advance their career.
Some positions aren’t equipped for clear advancement paths. Your business might not have higher-up positions for certain departments. You might need to get creative when promoting a talented employee you want to keep at your business. For example, you could create a new position specifically for an employee by broadening and increasing their responsibilities.
Set up training opportunities
When you first hire and onboard an employee, there’s often a certain level of training they need to do before getting the hang of the position. But, training shouldn’t stop there.
If you want to develop an employee’s skills weeks, months, and even years after hiring, you should provide ongoing training.
You might set up training opportunities so employees can master new processes, programs, or software. You can set up online or in-person training opportunities.
Let’s say you have an employee who creates flyers. You decide to train the employee on a new design software to improve the quality of their designs. This training helps the employee further their skills and makes it possible for your business to produce more appealing content.
Provide educational assistance
Educational assistance is when a business pays for part or all of an employee’s education-related expenses. For example, you might pay for tuition, books, and supplies when an employee decides to go back to school.
Offering educational assistance encourages and makes it possible for employees without the funds to further develop their skills and knowledge.
Giving interested employees thousands of dollars to further their education can really add up, though. Set limits for what your business will pay out. And, you might choose to require that the employee earn a certain grade to receive the full assistance.
Keep in mind that providing this benefit not only helps you retain current employees, but you can also use their newfound knowledge to progress your business.
Offer a job rotation program
When an employee rotates jobs, they make a lateral move into a new position for a period of time. A job rotation is not a promotion—the employee rotates back to their original position.
With a job rotation program, employees can gain new experiences and skills in their new positions. When an employee rotates into a new position, they take on new responsibilities, increasing engagement and encouraging development.
To create a job rotation program, decide which employees will rotate into which positions. With a clear outline, your business can benefit from this type of program.
Give employees leadership roles
You can also develop an employee’s leadership abilities. Keep in mind that giving employees leadership roles doesn’t necessarily mean you make the manager, supervisor, etc. You can, and should, grow each employee to be a leader, regardless of their position.
So, how can you give employees leadership roles without giving them official titles in your business? One way is to establish committees.
Setting up committees gives employees a chance to develop their leadership abilities, collaborate, and innovate. For example, you might elect an employee to be the chairperson and another to be the recorder.
Bio: Rachel Blakely-Gray is a content writer at Patriot Software, LLC, a provider of affordable online accounting and payroll software for small businesses. At Patriot, she enjoys providing actionable, growth-oriented information for small business owners.