What is a manager’s job? Is it to provide direction for employees to be productive and effective, or are they responsible for something more? Great managers also engage in the fundamental task of developing talent within the business.
A survey conducted by breatheHR found that nearly half of UK subject matter experts (SMEs) neglect staff development, with almost half of participants feeling that their bosses don’t take their personal development seriously.
Training and development is often seen as something that drains on valuable resources, leading to employees being out of the office while the company foots the bill. Here are some of the reasons why, as a leader, you shouldn’t neglect the importance of employee training.
You may have heard the adage, “People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their managers”. These are among the top 9 things managers do to make employees quit:
- They don’t let people pursue their passions.
- They fail to develop people’s skills.
- They fail to challenge people intellectually.
The influence that managers have on employee development is clear. Your people are the most vital aspects of your organization. There must have been a good reason why they were hired initially, so strive to keep them within your company.
Investing in your employees will make them aware that you are interested in their development and they will be more likely to stay longer and contribute more to your business. The cost and time spent recruiting (including initial on-boarding and training processes) far outweighs that of ongoing developmental training.
Demonstrating that you care about your employees’ professional development is a bonus to jobseekers and potential employees. In this survey, Jumpstart:HR found that the #1 thing potential candidates look for in a new role is the opportunity for growth and professional development. When learning and career progression are embedded in your company culture, you can attract and retain high level staff. That is essential for business growth and can give you an edge over your competition.
Encourage your employees to attend training sessions in areas like general leadership or regarding information and skills specific to their roles. This enables them to stay engaged with the day to day, and gives them the opportunity to further a variety of skills for a chance at advancement.
With ongoing developments in software and technology as well as constant innovation to improve processes and services, the training possibilities are endless. Providing your employees with opportunities to continually learn and stay on top of these developments, can increase job satisfaction and reduce mistakes and stress in the workplace.
Great managers recognize the natural talents of their employees and step in to nurture and grow those abilities. Contrary to what many managers believe, the vast majority of learning and development takes place on the job through facing new challenges, receiving constructive feedback and mentoring, and enhancing performance management processes.
How can you put all of this into action and reap the benefits of effectively training your employees? Here are some simple steps to identify your staff’s training needs and create a basic training program:
Assess the needs of your staff by considering the skills and competencies each individual should possess in order to go about their job successfully. It may be beneficial to order these by desirability, beginning with the most basic skills necessary to the specialized skills required by SME’s and upper management.
Identify where each staff member should be according to their job role and compare this against where they are currently. Managers can easily put this together based on assessments and weekly or monthly goal-tracking. Talking to every employee to discover where they feel they need to improve will also aid in this assessment.
Training! On-the-job training is a great option if you are working on a budget, leveraging other employees that already excel in a particular skill. Other avenues of training methods include self-development (ebooks, online courses, articles, webinars) or external training providers. Many conferences are offered for specific roles, or deeper level trainings are available for many of the software applications used at your organization.
Assess where and how employees are improving on a regular basis. This can be delegated out to team managers every week or month, can be included during annual performance reviews, or can passed on to a specified member of the team to manage training.
Development and career progression are key priorities for both current and potential employees. However, small business leaders often aren’t appreciating the extent to which investing in the team’s future could also benefit their companies in the long term.
Any manager can implement a basic, cost-efficient training program and promote a culture that encourages professional growth and advancement. Those initiatives will improve your ability to retain and attract high quality talent, as well as boost everyone’s job satisfaction and productivity.
Melissa Jones is the Digital Marketing Assistant at breatheHR. She regularly contributes insights into current SME and HR trends as well as reporting on company news and updates. Follow her on Twitter @MellyJ3.
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