Developing Employees and Improving Performance
Learn how developing employees can lead to retention, engagement, and improved performance.
Today’s workforce is among the most educated in history, and with a highly-competitive job market and a crop of qualified recruits, employers are constantly on the lookout for new ways to retain talent, keep their employees engaged, and ultimately help their bottom line. That’s where employee development comes in.
What is Employee Development?
Employee development is the process of both improving your employee’s existing skills and competencies, and teaching them new ones, all with the aim of encouraging employees to dive into their personal interests, as well as support your business goals. With constant technological innovations changing the way we work, encouraging your employees to grow their skillset gives them practical knowledge that benefits both them and you, the employer.
Benefits of Employee Development and Growth
If you’ve ever been a hiring manager, you know that recruiting, hiring, and training a new team member is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Developing employees offers a solution that prioritizes an employee’s well-being and sense of belonging.
Say you have an employee with a limited hard skillset, and you need someone with a specific skill or know-how. No matter how you address this need for new skills, it’s going to cost you money. But with employee development, you gain longer-term employee retention and happiness. In fact, according to our 2022 Employee Well-Being Report, the number one driver of a strong work culture is “opportunities to learn and grow.”
Since the pandemic’s onset in early 2020, employee happiness and burnout have changed drastically, with employee happiness at work decreasing by 6% since its peak in June 2020.
Along with improving employee happiness, performance, and retention, employee development can also contribute to an increase in:
• Company resilience
• Company resilience
Employee development by the numbers
Developing employees can lead to a significant competitive advantage. According to LinkedIn research conducted over the last five years:
94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career.
83% of employers see attracting and retaining talent as key challenges for business success.
54% of Learning and Development (L&D) professionals agree that internal mobility has become a higher priority at their organization since COVID-19.
Effective employee development can increase performance up to 25%.
Employees who feel that their skills are not being put to good use in their current job are 10X more likely to be looking for a new job than those who feel that their skills are being put to good use.
As you can see, L&D programs have steadily become more cross-functional and strategic in recent years, rocketing to the forefront in the aftermath of the pandemic and the Great Reshuffle.
By investing in employee development now, you’ll strengthen the foundation of your business and ultimately lead to greater success.
How to Develop Employees
Hard skills such as coding and soft skills like problem-solving are just a couple of examples from the list of development areas for employees. The good news for you is that many essential skills like these are teachable. Here are a few examples of successful ways organizations can develop their employees on a regular basis.
“Opportunities to learn and grow” and “belonging” are sitting at the top two spots on our list of top 10 drivers of work culture. One way to help meet these needs is to take a look at internal mobility within your company. According to our 2022 employee well-being report, only 1 out of 5 employees believes they can meet their career goals where they work today and have both their manager and organization’s support to pursue those goals.
Ignite employee’s passion to learn
Everyone learns differently. Some learn best through self-guided courses, others prefer instructor-led training, and some benefit from a combination of both. By offering a wide variety of learning options and a good range of courses, you can meet all your employees where they are—and ensure they have access to the tools they need to reach their goals.
Foster connection and belonging
A great way to foster a sense of connection and belonging is through implementing a mentoring program. This can be formal or informal, and simply involves matching less experienced employees with those who have more years of experience. This is beneficial both for the “teacher,” who gets to flex their leadership and management muscles, and for the “student,” who gets practical, hands-on learning time that will connect them with their team members and teach them practical skills that suit their interests.
More involved than mentoring, coaching requires a fully personalized approach specific to career development and business objectives. This is naturally more formal, as you will need to obtain results in order to make the most of it.
Individual development plans
This personalized document details an employee’s intentions, learning outcomes, and the support needed to meet their goals.
This refers to training an employee to perform tasks other than those normally assigned to their role. Cross-training can be a great benefit because it gives your employee more variety in their workday, and it gives you some extra hands for a short-term or ad-hoc fix.
The biggest benefit to job shadowing is that your employee gets to see your business from another perspective. This is a great addition to leadership training.
Coaching and Developing Employees with LinkedIn Learning
Developing employees is a practice that comes in all shapes and sizes—but that’s where LinkedIn Learning comes in.
Linkedin Learning is an online educational platform that helps you and your employees discover and develop business, technological, and creative skills through expertly created content. With more than 16,000 courses and personalized recommendations to choose from, your employees can discover, complete, and track courses related to their field and interests.
In fact, over 13,000 organizations around the world have chosen LinkedIn Learning, including 78 of the Fortune 100 companies.