3 Strategies For Investing In Your People
The success of any organization is directly tied to the skills, abilities and knowledge of its employees. Therefore, it’s essential for business leaders to invest time and resources in employees’ professional development.
Workers who are given opportunities to gain experience and grow are more likely to be engaged, motivated and committed to an organization’s goals. Additionally, when employees have the necessary skills and knowledge, they’re better equipped to handle the challenges of their jobs, leading to increased productivity and profitability for the company.
As a business leader, here are three specific ways that you can support your employees’ professional growth and development.
1. Provide Opportunities For Training And Development
When you give employees the chance to learn new skills and knowledge, they tend to feel more valued and, in turn, more motivated. In my experience, the best way to optimize training and development is to present options. For example, during a time of low morale within his team, one client of mine asked each employee which professional skills they wished to develop. After answering, they collaborated with their supervisor to research individual training opportunities and use allotted work hours to develop their skills. Not only did morale improve, but the team thrived with new expertise that helped contribute to the quality of the work they were doing.
Consider the options you can offer your teams to help them gain new skills and knowledge in their field. One strategy is organizing in-house sessions or sending employees to external training programs. Depending on specific needs, these training programs can cover anything from technical training to soft skills coaching. You could also offer access to learning platforms, books and courses or allow time to attend workshops, conferences and seminars. Encouraging continuous learning will not only help employees stay updated on the latest trends and technologies in their field, but it will also demonstrate your company’s dedicated commitment to their professional development.
Building off that, employees who see a clear path for career growth within the organization are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. As a business leader, provide opportunities like promotions, cross-training and other chances for advancement. This benefits your organization by retaining talent, reducing turnover and attracting new hires who value the potential for career growth.
2. Create A Mentorship Program
By creating a culture of learning and sharing knowledge, business leaders can foster an environment where employees feel supported and invested in. One strategy for this is implementing a mentorship program that pairs developing employees with experienced individuals in their field. These mentors can offer guidance, feedback and support so employees are better equipped to reach their goals.
I’ve seen the power of mentoring. While serving on the board of a national networking organization for women, we developed a program to help support younger professionals. In just a brief period, we witnessed immense growth in confidence and motivation in the mentees.
The relationships and honest conversations that mentees have with their mentors can help them better navigate corporate environments and the sometimes-challenging situations that an office culture provides. With a guide, they can begin feeling more equipped to succeed. Mentors can also benefit from this kind of program. At the networking organization, for instance, a majority of the mentors said they felt a sense of accomplishment and pride in their own careers. Being able to impart their wisdom to others can help experienced employees realize the true wealth of information and knowledge they possess. It was a win-win for everyone.
3. Bestow Regular Feedback And Recognition
Finally, engaging in regular, constructive discussions about performance is essential for employees’ growth and development. Business leaders who offer specific feedback and recognition can help build a culture of continuous improvement and create a sense of belonging and engagement.
Of course, it’s key to personalize your praise. Saying “Job well done, team” is what I consider a “drive-by compliment,” and it doesn’t make the biggest impact. Instead, take the time to thank individuals or small groups for specific tasks and contributions.
Smart leaders know the value of investing in their employees’ professional development. With strategies like encouraging continuous learning through training and development, offering opportunities for career growth, creating a mentorship program and providing regular feedback and recognition, you can help employees grow and succeed.
This article has previously been featured on Forbes