One of the best ways to communicate that you’re invested in your employees is to prioritize their ongoing development. But what does that actually look like on a day-to-day basis? How do you ensure that long-term growth doesn’t get lost in the shuffle during busy periods? And how do leaders know what development initiatives are worthy of their resources? The following employee development activities are a great place to start.
Continuing Education and Training Programs
Consider starting a tuition reimbursement or tuition assistance program to support employees in their pursuit of advanced degrees. These programs are a great way to boost employee retention and loyalty while developing a more knowledgeable workforce—especially when you consider the technological and analytical skills required in today’s world.
Employers can also provide e-learning resources, management and software training, pay for employees to attend conferences and workshops, or reimburse membership fees for professional industry associations. Anytime you support an employee’s education, you’re communicating that the organization is invested in their long-term growth.
Ongoing feedback is vital for an employee’s development. However, employees (and managers) may not know how to give effective feedback. So, consider providing feedback training to all employees—teach them how and when to provide feedback, the differences between positive and constructive feedback, and how to utilize feedback that they receive—and provide them a platform for real-time feedback.
1-on-1 Meetings and Mentorships
1-on-1s are the ideal forum for coaching conversations. Managers can develop a better understanding of and build a stronger relationship with each individual employee while helping them chart a course for development. Learn about an employee’s long-term objectives, set a timeline for goals and development activities, help them solve problems, and ensure that their voice is being heard.
Mentorship programs are a great way to build a bridge between current employees and new hires. Longer-tenured, high-performing employees can demonstrate company values, answer questions, provide guidance, and make a new hire feel at home in the organization.
When an employee is ready to take on more responsibility, give them an opportunity to do so! That could entail serving on an interdepartmental committee, presentations at team or company-wide meetings, or special assignments. Again, the goal is to help employees expand their skillsets.
Sometimes an employee’s skills or interests can best be utilized in a different department. So, rather than a promotion, consider a lateral move—where the employee would take on new responsibilities on a new team. This could ultimately clear the path for them to move up more quickly within the company.
Job Shadowing or Rotations
Create a program where employees can shadow their peers in other departments or levels of the organization. Or, allow interns and new hires to rotate through different positions within the company for weeks or months at a time. Both programs expose employees to experiences outside their normal day-to-day and may provide a spark of inspiration to help them clarify their career goals.
Discover more ways to show appreciation for your employees here.