In order to keep their business competitive, today’s employers need to invest in professional development of the employees they have, if they want to keep them, else they may find themselves competing for new talent in a pool where skill shortages drive costs and limit replacement options.
It’s widely known that employees with ready access to professional development opportunities with their current employer boast greater productivity rates and lower turnover. Development programs not only allow them to perform better in their current role but gain new skills that enhance job satisfaction and permit career pathing within your organization.
Before you start your plan, consider first your business objectives and how improvement opportunities for existing staff may help you reach them. Next ask your staff for input. Learn about their areas of interest as well as perceived weaknesses to make sure offerings align with goals. A skill analysis or interest form may aid in the discovery process.
Develop a corporate wide approach to your offering, laying a framework for the type and frequency of training to be offered. Consider traditional classroom or online training as well as coaching, mentorships, job shadowing and stretch assignments as part of any plan. Craft and publish a template that itemizes strengths and weaknesses then allows space for the employee or employer to document intended programs, commitment levels and deadlines to address. Revisit plans as part of periodic performance improvement meetings or annual reviews.