Employee Development: Long Term Investment

Posted by April Parks, M.S. Conflict Management

Nov 5, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Employee DevelopmentIt is so important to invest in the future. Similar to investing in renovations on a house, one must spend money to keep the roof from leaking or upgrade to better appliances. It’s a continually process as a home owner since things are constantly changing or needing repair.

The same basic concept goes with employee development too. A company hires a person based on the credentials and in order to see the best success for the employee and the company, the company must be willing to invest in continual development. It's crucial for several reasons: higher employee engagement, higher morale, higher productivity, as well as increased organizational profitability and growth.  On the other hand, if companies choose to overlook developmenting employees, they will suffer great losses when their top talents terminate their time with the company.

According to the Harvard Business Review, "dissatisfaction with some employee-development efforts appears to fuel many early exits."  Their research found there were several gaps between what employees found important to their development and what employers actually offered. The HBR points out that the disconnect is found in high cost development and training experiences. It is more likely that employers would pay for these if they knew that the employee planned on a long-term investment with the organization. With the younger workforce coming in, many switch jobs more frequently than in the past. This being the trend, companies may be more reluctant to invest as much in formal trainings for their employees.

While formal trainings may not be a viable option for all companies and its employees, is it still important to invest in the future of employees. When they feel their career is supported by the company, then their loyalty will likely increase. This in turn will boost morale and engagement, while also seeing an increase in productivity, all of which are vital to a company's growth and success.

The following are reasons why it's so important to spend time and effort on employee development:

  • Investment in an employee's future and development breeds loyalty. When an employee can honestly feel that a company is supportive of their career goals, they will become more loyal to the company they currently work for.
  • Well educated and driven employees look to increase their knowledge and development. Not the types to cruise by on the minimum, top talents want to ever increase their knowledge, skills, and abilities. They are looking for challenges where they can better themselves regularly to sharpen their skills. 

So make sure to offer employees mentoring and training, support from direct managers, and the ability to work on a global team. These aspects are important to employees, according to the previously mentioned HBR research.

Keep in mind that investment in a development plan doesn't have to be costly though. Managers should simply take the time to understand the needs of the employee and offer assistance in ways to achieve their goals or to fill gaps they see in their job or in their development plan. That alone shows employees their organization's willingness to help them to achieve their goals.

For those looking for a more comprehensive approach to employee development plans, TEDS, Inc. offers a seven module talent management system to align company and employee short term and long term goals. From performance management and learning management, to succession management and workforce management, TEDS has everything a company needs to accomplish both employee and organizational goals in a user-friendly software.

Whichever option is most suitable to your company, employee development is crucial to the success of your organization and shouldn't be taken lightly. Invest time in your top talents and they will invest time in organizational goals and its successes. 

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