Enabling Employees for Growth and Career Progression
By Megan Bandy
In nearly every successful organization, employee training and development is a critical component of an effective HR function. In 2019, the average expenditure per employee was $1,286 for training and development (Training Industry Report). These opportunities provide employees growth in their careers, boost team morale, and increase overall employee retention.
In fact, a recent LinkedIn study found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if the company invested in their career. Similarly, another study by Udemy found that 42% of employees see learning and development as the most important workplace benefit.
Helping your employees grow requires a consistent investment, but it can also make a significant impact on your organization. Plus, getting started can be as simple as implementing a few key processes.
Start with a strong employee onboarding foundation
Onboarding programs are the first easy opportunity organizations have to set their employees up for success. Still, according to a study by Kronos and the Human Capital Institute, 76% of HR leaders believe that their company underutilizes their onboarding processes today. By neglecting to invest in onboarding, organizations are missing out on this critical first opportunity.
Effective onboarding allows your team to share company values, discuss specific role expectations, explain team processes, and establish connections with new employees. Creating a structured and streamlined onboarding process can mean the difference between a confused, frustrated new hire and one that feels prepared and connected.
Hold regular 1-on-1s to discuss career progression
Meeting regularly with your employees can help open lines of communication for their goals, strategy, and opportunities for growth. As a manager, you can set expectations and give helpful feedback so employees can more readily reach their goals. As an HR business partner, you can likewise use 1-on-1s to support promotion cycles and cross-functional moves that help decrease employee attrition. According to a TinyPulse’s 2018 Retention Benchmark employees are 20% more likely to stay with the company for at least another year when they feel like they are progressing in their career.
Offer creative incentive programs
While offering training and development programs can be an effective tool for employee engagement, making these programs available is often not enough. Instead, effective HR teams should look to actively encourage employees to spend time in learning and development programs. One way to do this is with incentive programs. Offering strategic benefit packages with commission or even stock-based goals can help encourage employees to reach specific career objectives. Additionally, in-office perks, competitive based rewards, and team building events can all supplementally help drive employees towards certain learning and development benchmarks.
Ensure resources are easily accessible
Encourage consistent growth by keeping resources, like employee handbooks, workshops, online courses, and more, readily available to your team. Creating a learning culture can be healthy, but it isn’t likely to happen if there are barriers that prevent employees from easily accessing important tools. You can help break down these barriers by making recommendations for books, articles, or courses regularly, paying for employees to attend certain training, or even giving them a few days off a year so they can invest in their learning.
Creating an environment that encourages growth and career development has a significant impact on your team’s morale. It can mean the difference between a disengaged, stagnant team and one that feels encouraged, supported, and productive.