The current business landscape is dynamic and demanding with rapid disruptions almost all the time. It’s a challenge for organizations to keep pace with these ever-evolving changes and at the same time retain employees in a fluid labour market.
More often than not, employees choose to join and then stick with companies that provide better opportunities for professional growth and development. In fact, one of the primary reasons why people change organizations is because they find fewer training and development opportunities in their current company. Most look forward to and appreciate learning that can help them enhance their careers. As per the LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report 2021, 76% Gen-Z -- the newest entrants to the professional world – are highly motivated to grow their careers and view learning as the key to their advancement.
Needless to say, the role of L&D is more critical than ever and has become an intrinsic part of the way companies do business. As an L&D professional, it’s important that you take a proactive approach towards employee training and development in order to alleviate turnover and increase productivity.
Here are some steps that L&D teams can take to boost employee development and professional growth:
1. Undertake Regular Training Activities
There’s so much that a company can achieve when it has the right kind of teams in place because, after all, employees are a company’s greatest asset. An IBM study has found that teams that are well-trained have managed to increase their productivity by 10%. Arming employees with the ability to do their jobs better is almost always a smart move.
As L&D teams focus on plugging knowledge gaps and upskilling employees, companies have a larger likelihood of increasing their profit. To this end, it’s important to undertake regular training and development sessions that can engage employees as well as help them upskill.
2. Encourage Coaching and Mentoring
Coaching and Mentoring is an essential activity to support employee growth and development. As the modern workforce has changed, employees no longer prefer a top-down approach to mandatory training. Instead, they prefer managers to be their coaches or mentors with whom they can have open communication.
Employees should not hesitate to ask managers if they need help, and the latter should be happy to pass on skills or knowledge to the former.
3. Identify Soft Skills Gaps
The pandemic has made it amply clear that soft skills are as important for the workforce as hard skills and developing them is a part of L&D’s responsibilities. Soft skills are related to personal traits and non-technical attributes and include areas like communication, time management, creativity, critical thinking and active listening among others. While focusing on productivity is seminal, organizations also need to take a more hands-on approach to identify and develop soft skills for employees as well as managers.
Organizations that offer training opportunities for soft-skill development have more chances of increasing the productivity of their entire team and not just one employee.
4. Offer Recognition and Rewards
Employee growth and development works in tandem with employee engagement and motivation, so you have to focus on both these factors as well. One step towards this is by creating a company culture that rewards and recognizes great work.
By offering recognition and rewards to your employees, you can motivate them and encourage their loyalty -- which are the strongest forces behind employee growth. Once they feel valued, their performance levels increase automatically. Recognition and rewards are known ways to incentivize employees to grow.
5. Execute Cross-Departmental Training Programs
Businesses today are becoming lesser and lesser siloed. Every vertical needs to understand the value of how other units in the organization operate. One way to support employee growth and development is by implementing cross-departmental training programs.
Doing away with departmental boundaries can improve communication between different units, in turn, increasing overall efficiency. Cross-departmental training programs are a great way to educate employees about the various areas of the business, while improving communication between them.
6. Encourage Continuous Learning
To reduce employee turnover and increase productivity, L&D teams need to find creative ways to engage workers and increase their loyalty. For this, it is necessary to encourage continuous learning and capability development.
Employee skill-development and growth initiatives are some of the long-term strategies that create a foundation for continuous learning initiatives. If businesses wish to look for a stronger financial year ahead, investing in their employees’ learning is an important step.
Regardless of the size of a company, robust training activities to support employee growth and development are a must. As L&D professionals, you can start by mapping out skills gaps and then think about how you can help your employees achieve their desired goals and perform their jobs better.
Remember, your employees are an incredible asset for your company. You need to invest in them if you want to achieve long-term business productivity