How to Foster Employee Development in Your Workplace

Employee development and your company

Your employees are key to your company’s success.

Every company should strive to develop their employees. A stagnant workforce may meet quotas and accomplish necessary tasks, but a growing, thriving staff increases productivity, problem solves, and earns a bigger net profit. By nature, people want to learn and change. Nonetheless, they typically need a boost to apply this teachable spirit to the workplace.

Encourage Learning

To foster employment development in your workplace, you must encourage learning. Start by asking employees what skills they would like to learn, specifically, which skills would make the most difference in their job. Also, assess their strengths and weaknesses. Plan to provide training in the areas you feel need improvement. A popular way to encourage learning is to host lunch and learns. During these events, a speaker gives a presentation on a specific topic while participants eat lunch. Find personnel throughout your organization who excel at a certain skill and invite them to present at different times. Provide a sign up list for employees who are interested in attending. To maximize time, consider providing food. Catering is one option, however, a potluck style lunch is often well received by employees.

Create Value Adding Employees

The goal of each employee should be to bring everything they can to their position. However, they may feel incapable of adding value. Step in and find out what they need to improve their performance. It may be something as simple as the newest software update, or a message pad with spaces for the caller’s name. Teach them to think ahead. Have them walk through their day and tasks that they encounter. What works well? What areas could be improved? What action can we take to fix the problem? Once a good idea is voiced, make sure they act on these ideas. Urge them to post actionable items in a highly visible location so they will see them frequently and remember to do them.

Maximize Performance Reviews

Many people look at the annual performance review as a time where all their mistakes are rehashed in front of them. Change this perception in your organization. Hold performance reviews more often than once a year, perhaps quarterly or even monthly. By letting the employee know how he or she is doing on a more regular basis, they an opportunity to improve their performance and focus on more specific goals. Also, when the big annual review comes along, they will know where they stands and not be surprised. Offer feedback between reviews also, both positive and if necessary, negative. Communication shows workers where they are implementing the strategies discussed and where they need more improvement.

Team and Teamwork

As a team, together everyone achieves more.

Utilize Teamwork

Today’s employees desire more diverse skills and responsibilities. Take advantage of this longing by creating teams from different departments to tackle projects. While members work together, they will develop their communication skills. These skills transfer to every aspect of life and will greatly benefit the team, individual, and organization. Also, teamwork increases collaborative capabilities. Ideas are shared and discussed in an environment where everyone has the same end goal in mind. While working with co-workers from other departments, individuals learn how each department works and fits into the whole organization. They begin to see the bigger picture. All of a sudden they understand why their reports must be turned in by a certain date. Cross-training is also a byproduct of teams. Members learn skills utilized by other departments and may find they are interested in a transfer.
In conclusion, fostering employee development takes some effort, but is easily accomplished with a little time and planning. Employees want to learn and grow but need encouragement, feedback, and an environment conducive to learning.

About the Author:

Emma is a freelance writer from Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. For professionals looking to improve their review process, using employee performance review software can make it much simpler and more effective. To see more from Emma, check out her Twitter @EmmaSturgis2

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