There are many costs involved with having a high staff turnover, from the loss of knowledge that occurs when workers walk out the door, to the financial costs involved in finding replacements, and the time it takes to train them up. As such, it is incredibly important for all organizations to have a focus on boosting retention levels.
While there are many different ways to do this, including recognizing and rewarding workers, creating a positive culture, providing employee perks and the like, one great way that not enough managers focus on is helping people to grow and reach their potential.
Keep in mind that team members who do not feel challenged any longer, or who haven’t been able to enjoy a promotion or added responsibility over the years, will soon start looking for another role. To help your workers get to where they want to be then, and increase your retention levels at the same time, you must continually think about their progression. Read on for some tips you can follow today.
Create Personalized Development Plans for Workers
For starters, it is a good idea to create a personalized development plan for each worker. This should be addressed at least once every year or, if possible, every quarter for more regularity. During a performance review and/or planning session, you or other leaders within the business can sit down with employees to discuss how they might want to progress within the company; how they want to develop new knowledge or skills; and what their goals are for the upcoming period and over the longer term.
Once there are specific plans in place, staff members and their managers can work together to continually find ways for them to take part in internal or external training, get involved in additional projects and otherwise learn and grow. Setting some structure around this process helps leaders to be very clear about how workers want to move up through the ranks in the company and/or industry over time, and gives employees more motivation to keep striving as well.
Pay for Continuing Education and Training
A particularly good way to help employees grow is to pay (either through partially subsidizing or wholly funding) for workers to enroll in continuing education courses or to attend specialized training. While you might not initially be keen to spend money on this type of thing, keep in mind that when you invest in a person’s development, you are helping them to become your future leaders and innovators.
If you really don’t have the funds to spend on education and training though, at least give team members time off to learn on a regular basis. As well, remember that in-house training (conducted by yourself, other leaders, or even workers who are excellent at a particular skill or who have extensive knowledge on a topic), doesn’t cost you anything but time and focus in the workplace, and can be a fantastic developmental tool.
There are many different types of educational platforms which work well in helping employees to grow. You might want to offer or encourage workers to participate in a number of them. For example, there are continuing education courses (short and long), degrees, certificates, and diplomas earned through online and on-campus facilities; inspirational and/or educational speakers; outsourced training programs; workshops; and coaching. It is also very beneficial for staff members to attend networking and industry events on a regular basis.
Provide Employees With the Opportunity to Work in New Areas
If you want your workforce to keep developing, be engaged and motivated, and loyal to your firm, it also pays to provide them with opportunities to work in areas within the business that are outside of their typical job function. This can be through either short or long-term placements, and/or through pairing them with mentors at higher levels of the organization.
To really develop an employee for a larger role and for the long term, they must know about more than their particular role or department within the company. Although many businesses keep workers compartmentalized these days so that everyone is concentrating on what they already know, this doesn’t help either the employees or the organization.
Once people have the chance to take on new responsibilities outside of their day-to-day job function, and get the opportunity to understand how all aspects of a venture work, they can quickly expand their skill sets and knowledge base; get better at thinking on their feet; and become more invested in the business as a whole.
For the organization, this means not only more committed workers who can be relied upon to help out in any areas wherever needed, but also a higher chance that the cross-training will lead to increased problem solving, new ideas, and a more positive corporate culture. People with comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the business will also make better leaders.