Employee Development: From Perception to Reality
Many organizations use employee engagement surveys as an indicator of how emotionally committed their employees are to the organization – and to their jobs. Ideally the results of the survey should reflect an organization that is perceived as invested in the development of its employees. But while that may be the perception, it is often not the reality for most organizations.
Recent research suggests that only one in five employees considered themselves ‘very engaged’, while nearly a third are engaged but feel their organization could do more to improve the employee experience.
One area which is critical to enhancing the employee experience is a commitment to career development opportunities for all employees.
The benefits of a development focused culture
Deloitte research shows that high performing learning organizations, that is, those with a culture of continuous learning and development, report the following benefits:
- 37% higher productivity
- 92% more likely to innovate
- 46% to be first to market
Despite those benefits, employees have only 1% of their working week to focus on training and development.
Transforming your culture into one that takes the learning and development of its employees seriously requires a major shift, but it is achievable and the rewards for those organizations that make that shift are evident.
The steps below will help you to make that change within your own business and change your perception of your employee development into reality:
Evaluate the skills in your organization: Evaluating the skills of your existing employees enables you to tap into hidden abilities that they may not be utilizing in their current role, but which may match a potential skills gap in a different department. It will also identify the areas where that skills gap may compromise your ability to achieve your business objectives in the short and long-term. Those results can be utilized to inform areas for career development.
Communicate with your team: It is vital to explain why you are making the change and the benefits this will offer to all of your employees. Your employee engagement survey may have already highlighted this area as one requiring attention to improve motivation and productivity.
Align your career development strategy with your business goals: To cultivate a true culture of continuous career development, every employee must be aware of your corporate goals. That awareness gives them both a sense of direction and an understanding of how their performance contributes to the overall success of your company. The more invested they are, the higher their motivation.
Associate your brand with skills development: Best-in-class organizations create a working environment that focuses on maximizing the potential of individuals. Engagement is boosted across the organization as you shift to empowering your employees, making it easier to retain – and attract – talent.
Move beyond the ‘one size fits all’ approach: The linear career is no longer relevant for the high performance organizations of the 21st century. Career development focuses on empowering your employees to understand their strengths, and how they can use them to develop their own career path.
Monitor and track your progress with development planning software: Implementing such a fundamental change in your organization doesn’t happen overnight. Both your business needs and the career goals of your employees may evolve through the year. Supporting your new strategy with dedicated development planning software enables your employees to track their own career development goals while providing managers with visibility into their progress. The goals of your business can also be measured and adjustments made as required for improved agility.