With everything so uncertain right now, it may be hard to see how your organization moves forward and where you should be focusing your resources. Many companies are concerned about the impacts of coronavirus and the economic downturn on their bottom lines, and the idea of focusing precious time and money on employee development may not be top of mind. Still, your organization should consider investing in your employee development right now. Let’s take a closer look at why.
1. It’s building your organization’s future
Honestly, many workers are just happy to have a job right now, and many companies are content to stay afloat while navigating choppy waters. However, things will likely calm down soon, and as the new normal settles in you’ll want to be prepared with the best workforce possible. Focusing on employee retention and development takes advantage of questions you’re likely already asking, such as what kind of leadership is working for your organization, what you need from your employees, and what kind of changes are coming your way.
2. It improves your employer brand
Employee-focused organizations get more positive feedback from current and former employees. In a world where online word of mouth can be everything, this is how you appeal to the best talent. When your team knows that you’re invested in their needs and their development, it builds good word-of-mouth and keeps great employees from seeking opportunities elsewhere.
Employee retention is one of the biggest challenges for any organization. If you’re retaining your best employees and keeping churn low by meeting employee needs and expectations, it enhances your reputation as a great place to work.
3. It gives you more insight into your employees’ potential
Part of any employee development program is assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your current employee pool and identifying both areas for improvement and for the potential for promotion. This legwork helps build a pipeline of internal candidates for promotions or for open positions within the company.
Similarly, knowing any weak spots improves your fortunes as well—better to nip any issues in the bud at an early stage, when intervention can help you put the right people in the right places or move people away from areas where they’re not going to perform well.
4. Engaged employees are productive employees
Employee boredom or restlessness is rarely a good thing in any organization. It either hurts productivity as employees start to become emotionally distant from their jobs, or leads to quality employees looking elsewhere for a more satisfying job. The feedback and data you get during an employee development audit and implementation are essential to help you find ways to keep employees engaged and invested in the organization’s success.
Training programs, skill development programs, and asking employees for feedback are all ways to keep your workers from feeling disengaged or stagnant in their daily work.
5. Employee development makes good financial sense
Hiring is typically one of the biggest resource investments for any organization—searching for talent, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding are intricate processes that involve many touchpoints and significant costs. Having in-house talent you can use to fill leadership roles (or lateral roles in the company) helps cut down on the external hiring processes that you would otherwise need to do.
Whether you’re trying to attract new talent to your changed organizational landscape or keep the great employees you already have, a strong employee development program can help you get where you need to be—both in the short term and the long term. The time and attention you focus on growing employee skill sets and supporting their potential are some of the most important strategic tools you have as a hiring professional.
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