How Are Employee Development Practices Strategic?
March 17, 2023
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Employee development programs provide multiple benefits for participants, from increased self-confidence and job satisfaction to a greater sense of personal achievement and well-being in the workplace.
However, employees aren’t the only ones benefitting from employee development practices. While designed to educate and train individuals, employee development practices also produce outcomes that are beneficial to organizations, making their implementation a strategic, win-win move.
For example, research shows that 94 percent of employees are more willing to stay with a company that provides professional development opportunities. That means investing in online training programs, or in other types of learning and development, can help you dramatically limit employee turnover—and the high costs associated with it.
This is only one example of how employee development programs benefit your team members and, more broadly, your company.
Discover how and why amplifying employee development is a smart strategy for businesses, including five examples of the tactical advantages that employee development provides for your organization, plus a closer look at the value of training a future-proof workforce.
Strategically executing employee development practices
In order for an employee development initiative to offer a strategic advantage, it must provide benefits not only to its individual participants but to your organization as a whole.
Consider, for example, a scenario in which an employer provides tuition assistance for team members to pursue a degree or vocational training. Fully or partially subsidizing an employee’s education can be a highly productive investment in your company’s future—but only if you approach it strategically.
For instance, you might limit tuition assistance specifically to programs that are relevant to, and enhance employees’ ability to perform in your industry or profession. By providing this sort of opportunity for career development, your organization can benefit in at least three different ways:
- You will save money by upskilling or reskilling your current employee instead of hiring a new applicant
- Your employee will become more knowledgeable and skilled in their role due to the strategic training they receive
- Offering organizational development opportunities, such as assistance with tuition, is an effective way to attract and retain talent—another important topic that we will cover in more depth later.
Of course, that’s merely one scenario to illustrate how talent development initiatives can be strategic for your business. Here are five more reasons why investing in your people and strengthening your employee development programs is a crucial strategy for achieving—and maintaining—success in your industry.
Provides organizational growth
Planning and preparing for organizational growth is imperative to any business, especially when you anticipate rapid or large-scale expansion. One aspect of preparing for growth is identifying and developing employees who have high potential and aptitude for leadership roles in your organization.
This is a classic example of upskilling, where employees receive training or education that builds and expands on their skills so they can advance professionally. Not only does sourcing talent reduce hiring costs and enhance retention, but it also helps ensure your company’s future will be in good hands.
Learn more about leadership development for employees and how to design leadership development training that works.
Improved public Image and perception
Organizations that care about and invest in their employees are perceived more positively—not only by consumers but also by job-seekers.
Establishing a reputation as a people-centric organization is a superb PR strategy for cultivating a positive image, endearing consumers to your brand, and attracting more applicants.
Read more: 7 Things Employees Want From Employers
Empowering the employee
When team members are thoroughly trained, they have a better employee experience and are empowered to face the challenges of their role with greater confidence, creativity, and a deeper sense of autonomy and independence. This diminishes the need for micromanagement, taking pressure off of supervisors and enhancing efficiency while contributing to a workplace culture where every team member feels valued.
Increased work performance
Many factors impact the quality of a team member’s performance, but two of the most important are employee engagement and job satisfaction.
Disengagement and dissatisfaction occur when employees feel bored, overwhelmed, or like their ideas and concerns are not being heard or addressed. Unsurprisingly, these factors contribute to absenteeism, diminished motivation, and ultimately, decreased performance—all of which chip away at your bottom line.
L&D gives your organization a development plan to fight back. Data shows that 93 percent of employees say they become more engaged when employers provide opportunities to participate in training or career development programs.
Meanwhile, 58 percent of employees say L&D programs enhance their overall job satisfaction. Together, this creates an effective 1-2 punch for boosting your staff members’ performance.
Improved employee retention
The inability to retain employees is a major financial drain on businesses, costing the U.S. economy a whopping $1 trillion annually, according to Gallup data. To put that into perspective, the cost of replacing an employee can range from one-half to 2x the employee’s annual salary—and that’s a conservative estimate.
Offering employee development programs is an excellent strategy for retaining team members who are driven to learn and excel. Remember, more than nine in 10 employees say they would be more loyal to employers who offered support with career growth, such as online employee training programs.
Data shows that employee turnover rates are up to 59 percent lower at companies with employee growth initiatives compared to those without, painting a sharp financial picture of the strategic value of these programs.
Future-proofing your organization with strategic employee development practices
From shopping, entertainment, and transportation to healthcare, banking, and communication, our society depends on technology. That dependence will only continue growing as technology evolves. Businesses need to be prepared for the inevitable disruptions, challenges, and opportunities that new technology will lead to in the future, such as the development of entirely new specialties or roles.
For instance, data from MIT reveals that the majority of today’s professions were not in existence in 1940—and you don’t need to travel far into the future to see this pattern repeat again.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), an astonishing 85 percent of the job roles that will exist merely one decade from now—the vast majority of them—are still yet to be created or invented.
Moreover, preparing for the future is a serious financial concern for nearly half of all CEOs. PwC’s 26th Annual Global CEO Survey, published in January 2023, reveals that 40 percent of global CEOs think their organization will no longer be economically viable in 10 years’ time if it continues on its current course.
The same survey, with over 4,400 participants, highlighted skill shortages as one of the top three challenges to profitability, with over half of respondents (52 percent) expressing concerns that skill shortages would impact their profitability to either a “large” or “very large” extent.
Offering employee development opportunities, such as managerial training, safety training, or other types of L&D opportunities, is a strategic way to simultaneously address both of these concerns. By upskilling or reskilling your workforce, not only can you provide employees with the skills and knowledge they need to evolve—but you’ll also be creating a more competitive organization while saving money on hiring and recruiting.
In short, employee development is a cost-efficient strategy to fill skill gaps, stay ahead of the technological curve, and prepare team members for new and emerging job roles.
Saving valuable time and money in the long run
The bottom line for businesses is that offering employee development supports better financial health for your organization. The cost to deploy these programs is greatly outweighed by the long-term returns they provide, particularly when costly on-site employee training is fully or partially replaced by the use of an online platform.
Here’s a quick recap of the ways your organization can save valuable time and money using a cloud-based LMS to create, deliver, and track a wide variety of employee development programs:
- Foster a more positive workplace culture where employees feel valued and motivated
- Increase employee engagement, job satisfaction, and overall productivity
- Build on employees’ existing skill sets, or train them to cultivate new ones, rather than relying on slow-moving and costly external recruiting
- Ensure that your workforce’s skills stay up-to-date and ahead of the curve
- If you do decide to recruit externally, your career development programs will help you attract the most qualified candidates
How WorkRamp’s LMS helps you streamline employee development
The data couldn’t paint a clearer picture: an investment in your people’s skills is an investment in your company’s future.
To recruit and retain the best talent, enhance productivity and job performance, limit employee turnover costs, and stay on the cutting edge of your industry, you need to create a workplace culture that values and supports employee development.
Supercharge your business strategy with WorkRamp’s award-winning LMS, making deploying best-in-class employee development programs simple and efficient. Our flexible platform is designed to help you develop, deliver, track, and fine-tune employee training and L&D programs that are aligned with your organization’s needs. With a clean, streamlined interface, a powerful administrative console, and plenty of tools to build interactive and engaging content, our LMS is easy to use and ready to scale.
Start reaching your training goals at greater speed and lower cost by utilizing an LMS to manage your L&D content. Contact us today to schedule a free, personalized demo.
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