It’s common knowledge: employees that feel they have opportunities for professional growth are more likely to stay with an organization than those who don’t see a clear path of career progression. What are you doing to foster a work environment of total employee development?
Over 2/3 of millennial workers believe management should give them accelerated development opportunities. According to a Brandon Hall Group 2014 report, 1/3 of companies are increasing their budget for total employee development.
Many organizations benefit from offering tuition reimbursement or subsidized coursework to employees. Google, for example, gives employees $12,000 of tuition reimbursement a year, broadcasting its commitment to investing in people as well as technologies. Continuing education offers a way for employees to take on new challenges and fight boredom.
Engage and Refine Their Skills
Professional development programs not only help employees feel more engaged at work, but they also help them refine their skills. Sponsorship programs are a low-cost way to help employees connect with their colleagues while reaching their professional goals. In addition to the social and skill-sharing benefits of a sponsorship program, senior staff is recognized for their expertise while newer employees are given an extra network of professional support.
Supporting professional development programs mean more than a highly skilled workforce. It conveys to the employee their high value and the company’s commitment to making their lives easier and more fulfilling.
Below are three ways to offer employee development at work.
1. Invest in Employees’ Networking Opportunities
Recognize your employee by sponsoring entry into a networking event or a professional development course. This shows the employee that the employer-employee relationship is reciprocal; that the company supports them and cares enough to help boost their professional value and future standard of living. Plus, any connections your employees’ make outside of the company could come in handy in the future for your company.
2. Encourage Employees to Grab Lunch with Executives
What better way to offer professional development? Let the employee choose which executive they’d like to have lunch with. Encourage employees to build personal relationships with superiors and even pitch their ideas. This will lead to greater collaboration, innovative ideas, and a transparent company culture.
3. Invest in Your Employees’ Education
Few things say, “We care about you and want to help make your future with us brighter” than offering to fund an employee’s higher education. Whether or not the degree directly relates to the employee’s current role, prove your commitment to the employee by investing in their overall career development.