How to Build an Employee Development Strategy to Retain Top Talent
Look around your company of 500 qualified employees. Without prioritizing their development needs, you may lose 470 to your competition.
LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report shows 94% of employees would stay longer with a company — if that organization invested in their career potential.
Are you neglecting employee development?
Steve Jobs built Apple’s empire on going after “the cream of the cream.” In today’s cutthroat war for talent, Jobs understood: “A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”
To retain your high-performers, it’s imperative to invest in employee development programs.
As businesses face a record-high worldwide talent shortage in 12 years, the leaders who upskill their workforce — and value individual employee’s needs — are the ones who safeguard retention.
Create harmony between individual and organizational needs
When your employees feel their individual needs align with your long-term business vision, they will see opportunity to grow — and you retain your top talent.
The best businesses achieve this balance. When you harness individual employee strengths, you then better fulfill your own company-wide mission.
In the book The War for Talent, the authors push for companies to change their talent mindsets.
Whereas traditional thinking generalized people as “our most important asset,” today’s development of talent hinges upon a new approach: “A deep conviction that better talent leads to better corporate performance.”
Yet, there seems to be a gaping disconnect between employee’s individual needs and alignment with the organization-wide mission.
According to Gallup, not even half of employees feel strongly connected to their company’s mission.
It’s advantageous for business leaders to invest in employee growth potential.
When you foster unique critical thinking skills, you make your team feel valued — and positive morale reduces voluntary turnover.
The On-the-Job Training You and Your Hires Want
Especially in an era of constant innovation, today’s employees seek meaningful and consistent development opportunities in the workplace.
However, research shows that only 22% of employees believe their employers equip them with training and development they want to advance in their careers.
Future digital workspaces are moving away from offsite seminars and knowledge-crammed lectures.
Instead, you want to give hires room to recall relevant knowledge learned. To drive learning retention, create a program that reinforces skills development.
Embed a contextual learning solution into your employee development model.
With contextual assistance, a digital next-generation tool sits on software, analyzing employee actions.
These training tools use algorithms to interpret context-sensitive elements: even a hire’s role within your organization and departmental goals.
Use technology to predict and meet individual employee needs — and break free of the limitations of a one-size-fits-all training plan.
To empower your staff with the essential skills to develop their career potential — and grow your bottom line — it’s beneficial to design a personalized on-the-job-training program.
4 Key Strategies to Promote High Productivity at Work
1) Pinpoint employee-centric training needs
Companies today utilize big data to discover insights and better understand how employees learn.
Using data analytics, you can personalize the learning experience at work. When you know which skills to enhance and which problem areas need improvement, you’ll elevate the overall performance of your workforce.
2) Set professional development goals and align under the umbrella of business objectives
Once you’ve identified your employee’s needs, nurture their unique skills.
Set milestones for your workers to evaluate their success. Establish useful KPIs that are realistic and measurable.
When you can measure employee performance, you also incentivize the opportunity to improve it.
Reward your star employees for their meaningful contributions. Motivate and support the company with career advancement opportunities, fostering a growth-oriented atmosphere.
3) Involve your team and get buy-in for the new program
Too many business leaders forget: it’s crucial to communicate your company’s story to the individuals fueling its mission.
Continuous skills development inspires employees to feel they are part of a bigger narrative. When employees feel ownership over their work, they’ll embrace accountability to drive your business vision forward.
4) Track and optimize your development training methods
A company-wide ability to tailor management to employee needs can’t be underrated.
To know if your employee development program is thriving or floundering, you first need to open feedback loops. Just as employee development is ideal when continuous, communication with your team should be ongoing.
Only with regular check-ins can you understand what motivates your employees — and understand when you’ve overlooked pain points. Then you can optimize an employee development and training plan that ramps up business efficiency from the bottom-up.
A win-win situation for employers: build a foundation for employees to excel
Business consultant Marcus Buckingham notes, “Talent is the multiplier. The more energy and attention you invest in it, the greater the yield.”
When you build your talent, you increase job satisfaction at work. In doing so, you motivate individual contributors to want to meet organization-wide objectives — and become highly productive team players.
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