LinkedIn reported in 2018 that 93% of employees would stick to their current job if the company was seen investing in its employees.
I don’t need to tell you that that’s a huge statistic. Retention is tied in so tightly with engagement and company culture that this is a must-see.
We’re definitely fans of continuous learning on the job.
But - and if you’re wondering this you’re not alone - what is employee development and how can you invest in it? You’ve seen above just a snippet of the research backing the importance of it, but that’s only the ‘why’ of the situation.
What is employee development?
Now more than ever, your employees need to find motivation to get through their day and your teams can't necessarily rely on their traditional support systems.
This article does a great job to explain the correlation between motivation and employee development, "Training can help employees understand how their work fits into their company’s structure, mission and goals. Employees often become more motivated when they understand how their work matters."
Whether this is for career advancement, better performance or to simply check off boxes, both the boss and employee should be eager to engage in development opportunities.
(Training in another time might have looked a little different)
Development goes past these more formal tracks, though.
Think of benefits and gym memberships. All of the perks that come along with a job, those extra offerings that entice employees to stay and better themselves in their personal life as well.
If you want to go where the stats point, you’ve got to look at training and communication as the two big drivers of employee engagement at the development level.
How to invest in your employees
In a pre-COVID world you would have filled the kitchen with coffee, bagels and fruit. We all know that isn't the key to employee satisfaction but it does help.
Fun fact: SnackNation is a company that does snacks at work and now offers snack boxes to send employees to 'give your remote employees a work-from-home experience they’ll love with delicious, healthier options that keep them energized, productive and happy!'
If snack box sending isn't your thing, here are a few examples of how you could invest in your employees?
Let’s start with improving communication:
Look (or maybe look back) at everyday life at work. We are constantly connecting, and every action is part of a larger one that comes back to communicating with one another.
A boss who makes a regular task easy, engaging and effective is one who smartly invests in their employees.
Digital communication tools are expected by staff (even before the pandemic) and are very useful for all levels of the workplace: Managers can reach everyone quickly, staff can think-tank easily with coworkers and - importantly for what we’re doing here - employee development and learning are streamlined.
Now, onto an example of how investing in training could look.
Over half of employees in this international survey were confident that training improved their job performance and made them feel more aligned with their company. Pack that training into an app, something the majority of workers will have loaded on their devices instantly, and the uptake of training will go up just from the sheer accessibility of it.
The reasons are there - so start investing!
Other than making your company more appealing in the eyes of potential future employees, giving clients a better experience and so on, there are multiple reasons why you should consider focusing on this facet of employee engagement.
By making strategic investments in your employees, you can indirectly target both the retention of current staff and attracting the best candidates for new openings.
Have an opening for an Employee Experience Officer? Well, that awesome software you got last year (hint, hint) to make ‘intranetting’ easier is a sign to the best candidates that your C-suite cares about EX.
And, all the while, the people on the ground who run through routine tasks are finding their workday so much smoother thanks to the new online hub.
by Teri Maltais
With a passion for delivering the right message to the right audience, Teri is an experienced communications professional and Marketing Director for iTacit.