What is employee development?

Employee development is a process of educating employees so they can continue providing valuable contributions to their company. With constant technological innovations challenging the status quo, encouraging employees to keep pace through improving their skills and enhancing their practical knowledge benefits them and their employer. 

Why should HR leaders care about employee development?

Sourcing, hiring, and training of new employees are expensive and time-consuming processes. Employee development, meanwhile, can offer an economical way to help employees elevate their work performance, contributing to an increase in:

For instance, helping engineers develop their project management skills, or guiding sales representatives on effective relationship-building, can boost work contributions, assist employees in achieving career goals, and inspire a meaningful work experience.

What can HR leaders do to implement effective employee development programs?

HR leaders should tailor the employee development program to fit the organization’s budget and needs. These tips offer a dynamic approach:

  • Establish a play with definitive goals. Map out a plan for the implementation of designated types of learning. HR leaders and managers can collaborate to create employee surveys, a strategy for promoting the development programs, and trial employee development sessions to ensure the learning initiative runs smoothly. 
  • Find out what employees want. Through employee surveys and frequent performance reviews, HR leaders can find out how employees envision advancing their work performance. HR leaders and stakeholders can incorporate relevant employee suggestions and goals that align with their budget and with proven development strategies.  
  • Fuse e-learning with mentoring. Electronic learning can be time-efficient and cost-effective. Regular meetings with a peer mentor or coach complement the e-learning, giving employees a well-rounded approach to their informal work education.  
  • Nurture a growth-oriented culture. Seamless integration of learning opportunities into the weekly schedule encourages employees to enjoy the enrichment process. Brief spurts of e-learning, gamification, applicable podcasts, or instructor-led workshops can keep the topics engaging and upbeat. 
  • Provide clear expectations.  Clear direction can empower those who are ready to widen their career scope. HR consultant Sharalyn Lauby describes the advantages of creating a career development manual. The guide can be creative and friendly, reflecting the company culture and welcoming employees to take responsibility for their learning journey. A consolidation of websites, blogs, development values, and other learning venues in their field can enrich their repertoire and deepen their contributions.

How does employee development improve company culture?

Offering opportunities to gain proficiency and cultivate practical work-related knowledge illustrates an employer’s value for their employees. Employees who feel that their company appreciates them are more likely to connect and engage with their work and actualize their potential. In turn, this constructive employee-employer relationship can promote career fulfillment and a vibrant, robust company culture.