Forward-thinking companies understand the importance of investing in employees’ professional development. It plays a critical role in employee productivity, work satisfaction, engagement, retention, and overall employee performance.
In Singapore, fresh graduates join traineeship courses to gain valuable work experience and be competent professionals in their respective fields. The program serves as their stepping stone to gain progression opportunities and career advancement once they become full-time employees.
If you’re planning to upskill your existing workforce, there are plenty of ways to do it. Here are techniques to support employees who long for professional development.
Employee training and development
To address employee turnover and skills gaps, companies should find ways to keep employees engaged and productive. Skills development programs and individual growth initiatives are long-term techniques that enhance employee experiences and increase company loyalty.
Millennials and Gen Zs are now looking beyond salary raises and employee perks; they want employers willing to invest in their capabilities through developmental opportunities. So if you want to attract the new generation of employees, show them your commitment to pushing your workforce to its fullest potential.
Investing in employee development won’t only boost employee retention but also benefit business growth. Continual learning helps employees discover skills or knowledge that may be necessary to advance in your industry. Employees can learn new business trends, particularly in developing new products or services, which helps in improving your customer reputation and gaining a competitive edge.
Training initiatives come in different forms. You can pay for their training, educational courses, certification programs, seminars, or workshops. A great tip is to combine a variety of learning opportunities to reap bigger returns. When designing a training program, make sure the content fits the career goals and skill requirements of the employee.
Failure to do this can lead to low participation and lack of engagement. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in training, so make sure to ask for their insight about the type of training or additional skills they need for their job.
Coaching and job shadowing
Creating a mentoring program in the workplace is one of the brilliant moves a company can ever make in terms of supporting workers’ professional and personal growth. Coaching and mentoring programs are effective tools for training new and current employees. Today’s workforce has completely changed, and people are no longer responding to orders and demands.
Experts found that senior-subordinate relationships can be a source of trouble in the workplace. It can pave the way for leadership issues, internal disputes, disagreements, and abuse of power. Unlike mentoring relationships, the mentor and mentee should fully commit to the relationship and focus on their agenda to achieve their goals within a short period. Although both parties may run into obstacles and conflicting opinions, open and honest communication can lead to a mutually respectful relationship.
Companies can support employees’ career growth by establishing a culture that promotes training and communication. Managers can ask employees for help and vice versa. In other words, coaching becomes a two-way street.
It’s not just a transfer of knowledge from seasoned employees to less-experienced ones; instead, they both become active learners. Senior employees can provide professional guidance and hard-earned insights to their less-experienced colleagues while benefiting from the technological know-how and fresh perspectives from the young ones.
As they progress, they take advantage of the opportunity to share useful knowledge and skills. Professional development often falls on the manager’s responsibility, so fostering a culture of mentoring or coaching is a great way to promote employee growth.
Promote work-life balance
The idea of hard work has become romanticized, making it a prerequisite for job advancement. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you should overwork yourself, render overtime work, and commit to endless workloads.
While work-life balance has become a hot topic in the business world, only a few companies can implement it successfully. Embrace work-life balance by encouraging employees to maximize their productivity, work smart, and leave extra time and energy for non-work interests. This is especially helpful for remote employees who can’t draw the line between work and personal life.
Taking time to protect your employees’ well-being helps prevent various mental health issues, such as stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression. This can be solved by adopting flexible work arrangements to increase employee morale and improve work-life balance.
Focusing on employees’ career growth can offer lasting and significant benefits not just for the workforce but the entire organization. In the end, career development plays an important role in employee retention and satisfaction, so you should make it a part of your company’s strategy to achieve organizational success.