Nick Miller

Employee Engagement: Training & Development can lead to higher employee retention

Professional development programs can be a key element in employee retention. From a company perspective, training and development programs are meant to improve overall performance. But a well-designed program can do just as much for the employee. By providing employees an avenue through which to build upon their skills, it shows them the company has a vested interest in them as individuals, decreasing the likelihood that they’ll take those talents elsewhere.

The type of individual to partake in career development programs is one who welcomes more engagement. Take advantage of this desire to learn. By engaging this group in a meaningful way, they are likely to communicate these opportunities to employees that may not seek them out on their own. It’s a win-win situation for both the company and the employee base by increasing engagement levels. An engaged workforce is a happy workforce, and this too decreases the turnover rate.

Of course, it’s also important to ensure that training programs themselves are engaging. It will be hard for an employee to see the benefits of training if the material isn’t meaningful, or if the presentation is boring or poorly organized. The first step is to make the training materials and format appealing and motivating, while not coming across as cheesy or self-serving.

Communicate the “why.” Employees need to know that the time taken away from their regularly scheduled jobs is for a purpose. If they know up front what the training will entail and how it will improve their day-to-day operation or advance their career, they will be much more likely to see it as an opportunity rather than an obligation.

Bake in your corporate vision and values. The opportunity to get your brightest workers in one room with the hunger for learning doesn’t happen every day. Take advantage by reinforcing what is most important to your organization. By illustrating their role in the big picture, you are creating internal brand ambassadors, whether they know it or not. This too will increase engagement, and thus increase retention.

Structure your program to create a feedback loop. These are the leaders in your workforce, and they are a valuable source of information. Tap into this wealth by providing them a channel to express their opinions, not just on the development program, but the operations of your company. Show them that their voices are important and act on their suggestions. If they understand that their perspectives are valued, it will only benefit the organization.

Need help developing an engaging training program? Tribe can help.

3 Tips on Employee Growth and Development

Regardless of your profession, talent will only get you so far. The people that are able to truly get ahead are the ones that show dedication and commitment to better themselves not just as an employee but also as a person. Any employee, regardless of your profession, can use these three tips to develop and grow.

1. Identify specific skills and behaviors to improve upon – Each employee is going to offer their own unique skill set. While everyone is going to have strengths and weaknesses, a commitment to improving upon your deficiencies can separate you from the rest. The first step in doing so is to admit your weaknesses. Don’t let pride get in the way of a learning opportunity. If you feel that you could improve in a certain area, find out what it will take to make you can better. Talk to your superior or someone that specializes in that area and learn what they were able to do to get ahead. By letting down your guard for a short period of time you may be able to see significant improvements down the road.

2. Seek outside help – Companies want to see their employees grow. Not only are they looking out for you as a person, your development means that their investment in you as an employee is trending up. If there is a certain area that you want to learn more about, research opportunities to educate yourself and potentially acquire a new skill. Regardless of the area you’ve identified, there are likely numerous webinars, seminars or training sessions available to help. If you can illustrate to your company how this education can improve you as an employee, companies will typically cover some, if not all of the costs.

3. Identify obtainable goals – Just about all of us have been in an interview and heard the age old question “where do you see yourself in five years?” If you’re anything like me, it’s difficult enough to determine where I see myself in the next five days, let alone years. While this question may be cliché and overkill in interviews, it does bring up a valid point in that we should all know what we’re looking to do down the road. We often get so busy and caught up in our daily lives that we only focus on our immediate tasks. By setting goals for yourself each year, both personally and professionally, you allow yourself to focus on short-term goals while still having an eye on the big picture. These goals should be aspirational but remember to keep them somewhat feasible or you’ll quickly lose interest when you realize they’re unattainable.

There are plenty of people that are happy with where they’re at and have no problem with remaining status quo. Not that there’s anything wrong with this mindset but it’s the people that want to get better that truly make a name for themselves.