While some companies hire workers and never think about investing in their education, many forward-thinking organizations consider employee development a top priority. Why?
Quite simply, investing in employee development is a win-win for both the employer and the worker. Employers benefit from a workforce that’s more educated and more talented, while employees get to learn new skills and develop professionally.
As an added benefit, because employers are going the extra mile and investing additional resources beyond salary and benefits expenses, employee retention stats are bound to increase as well. Beyond that, organizations like employee development because:
1. Employees feel supported
Some managers hire new employees, get them up to speed with what’s expected of them, and then leave them to their own devices. Workers who love autonomy might enjoy this setup initially, but after a while, it gets old. Doing the same thing over and over again can lead to stagnation.
On the other hand, when companies invest in development — by giving employees new projects and tasks to work on — workers feel as though their employers actually care about them. You scratch my back, I scratch yours.
2. Employees reach their full potential
Aside from the exceptionally autodidactic employees that might work for your company, a majority of workers will likely have a hard time taking their game to the next level wholly on their own. By investing in the continuing education of your employees, you’re helping them become the best and most talented versions of themselves.
3. Employees stay current
Regardless of the industry, new developments shatter old paradigms. Reporters who stopped learning about their trade in the 1990s, for example, would likely have a hard time doing their jobs in the 2010s (e.g., “What’s a Twitter?”).
Investments in employee development enable your workers to stay up-to-date on all of the latest trends, tools, and technologies in your respective space. It’s what keeps professionals professional.
4. Employees understand expectations
When employers invest in specific professional development endeavors, team members know right away what’s expected of them. For example, imagine a company that produces replacement automobile parts suddenly has its manufacturing employees attend a three-day seminar on 3-D printing. In such a scenario, it’s pretty obvious that the organization expects its employees to become familiar with the new technology so that they can start utilizing it in the near future.
5. Employees become more productive
When workers learn new skills, best practices, and technologies, they are almost certainly going to become better and more efficient at their jobs. A company might decide to send its marketing team to a seminar on how to strengthen social media outreach, for example. You better believe that once they return, marketers will have learned tips and tricks that increase engagement. They will have seen examples of social strategies that work, and they even may have been exposed to new helpful tools they didn’t know existed. The end result? An increase in productivity — and a healthier bottom line.
Workers, and millennials in particular, are very interested in career development opportunities. Unfortunately, just 25% of employees feel as though there are adequate opportunities for professional development at their organizations, according to our Employee Engagement Report.
Investing in employee development will not only make your team happier, it will give your organization a reputation that reflects your commitment to your workers. So in addition to encouraging your workers to stick around, employee development can also help your company attract top talent.