Developing your employees is critical to your organization’s success. Research has shown that companies whose employees are inspired to work to their greatest potential yield the best business results overall.
What do you mean by developing an employee?
Developing an employee is a joint, on-going effort on the part of an employees, the immediate manager and the employing organisation to upgrade employee’s knowledge, skills, abilities and performance. A successful employee development program requires a balance between individual’s career goals, individual’s current needs and the organisation’s need to get the work done.
Why employee development is commonly ignored?
The two stand out reason which promote negligence are –
- Short term present goals are prioritised. In a high pressure, metric and goal driven organisation managers organically tend to be most focussed on day-to-day operations and less motivated to look beyond for longer-term payback.
- Youthful Excuses. Ironically, we the younger generation often found quoting ‘There is not enough time’. However the reality is that there is always time for important activities. Thus, we try to convince ourselves with lame excuses.
What are the negative impacts of ignoring?
Not evaluating individual’s performance and ignoring an individual’s developmental needs can have monumental impact on both the business and the employee.
From business’s perspective
- Impact on bottom line of the business – Any business would severely suffer with the lack of new ideas and innovation. Growth of an employee opens the individual to new and better ways of doing things. Consequently, lack of it can cost company to not evolve fast enough with new times and growing needs. Which could in an extreme situation lead to closure of the organisation.
- Employee turnover – With growing dissatisfaction the employee is highly likely to leave the team or in many cases the organisation. Consequently, all the good work and knowledge goes away with each outgoing employee.
From employee’s perspective
- Employee growth – For the employee, there would slow or no personal growth in knowledge, skills, abilities or performance. Consequently, will have slow or no increase in market value of the employability that can potentially retard the growth of the employee within the company to a manager or more senior leadership roles. As we all know, good talent aspire for highest position and want to feel they are prepared to take on the role.
- Employee attitude – Over time, employee tends to become more pessimistic and dissatisfied with the organisation. Consequently, creates a potentially hostile environment with a bunch of demotivated workforce.
Example: Any employee development relies on a comprehensive performance evaluation to help assess individual’s contribution to the organisation and the need for development. Here is a funny example from famous tv show ‘Scrubs’ to show you what NOT to be done, while evaluating performance.
Why is it useful?
Employee development helps both the organisation and its employees in a various ways.
- Best business results – Best results are often generated with more skilled and up-to-date workforce.
- New solutions – With new skills comes new solutions and innovation, which will help company constantly evolve with moving time.
- Inspired, pride in work – People are inspired if you take genuine interest in their future. Employee development is more effective when led by manager genuinely taking interest in – and not driven by HR mandate.
- Loyal – Investing in employee development raises motivation and loyalty. And more importantly, loyalty increases productivity. An honest interest on manager’s part helps build loyalty. Loyal employee = more engaged employee = more productive employee.
- Career development – prepare for future – Talented folks are definitely ambitious and would naturally want to advance in their career. Consequently, any meaningful support in the process goes a long way. They want to gain skills to advance in their career. Hence, they are constantly look for training, mentoring and coaching.
Bottom-line is that at the heart of it all, good managers taking interest in understanding each individual separately –recognising their skills and needs – and appropriately guiding them to fill gaps is absolutely critical. If it’s done well then it will translate into long term loyalty. Else, the cost in terms of long-term talent loss could be substantial.