Do You Have a Strategic Employee Development Plan?

How to Make Sure You Avoid Common Problems With Your Employee Development Strategy

employee developmentWhen you’re a small business, it is tempting to believe that you’ll figure employee development out along the way. After all, you’re just figuring out your processes, and committing to a structure for development opportunities can seem a big daunting.

Remember, though, that as you grow, you’ll always be in a state of change and adaptation, so being small or new isn’t a reason to avoid an investment in a structured employee development plan. You’ll be adjusting all of your structures and processes, from payroll to staffing, so don’t avoid investing in employee development. Take a look at some guiding principles for avoiding common problems:

Invest in a structured program. Again, small business owners often avoid this step because it can feel like a big commitment. Keep in mind that there are great employee development programs that already exist out there. You don’t have to start from scratch, or invest money you simply don’t have. Look into a program that provides online training for a subscription fee to match your company size.

Don’t make it one-size-fits-all. No employee appreciates feeling as if they are simply being herded through a busywork program to meet your management objectives for employee development. A great way to ensure that you are offering individualized development opportunities is to implement a behavioral assessment which offers objective information about your employees’ tendencies and motivations. It’s a great tool for matching your employees for their ideal roles (and informs a better hiring process, too).

Make your company a learning environment. As you structure your employee development program, keep in mind the difference between teaching and allowing employees to learn. Offering opportunities for collaboration can be even more effective than a classroom setting because in most situations, the collective knowledge in the room will allow employees to train one another.

This is also a great way to start if you’re a small company or have a small employee development budget. You can introduce a few coffee break collaboration sessions where you address some topics that will challenge your staff into new ways of thinking.

Get familiar with the laws regarding pay. It’s likely that you won’t be legally required to pay your employees if you’re implementing development opportunities for their future jobs, but you’ll need to pay them for their time if they are training for their current position.

Keep in mind, though, whether your employees will be motivated to complete development courses if they aren’t being paid for their time. Employee development helps your employees, but it also fuels the future of your company and helps with retention numbers, so it may be wise to offer compensation.

Want to know more about investing wisely in employee development? The team at PI Consulting Group offers the Predictive Index, an objective tool for creating individualized development plans for your staff. Call us today to learn more.