Does your company invest in professional development for its employees? If not, now is a great time to reconsider. Investing in the professional growth of your employees has many benefits that more than justify any associated costs. In this post, we’ll look at five different reasons managers should make skill development a priority.
During times when finding enough employees is challenging, it's obvious how great employees can make or break an organization. One of the consistent refrains of employees who are looking to stick with a company long-term is a desire for the company to invest in their professional development. That could include a path to rise to promotion. It can also be cross-training and extending an employee's knowledge in their existing work.
There are a variety of approaches to employee development, but it generally doesn't happen by accident. Workplace day-to-day takes priority unless you implement an employee skill development plan. However, there are some excellent reasons to make that effort, and they can be a big part of your continued business success.
1.) Strong Morale Improves Performance
In most work contexts, when employees feel good, they do better work than the bare minimum. Creating opportunities for skill development tends to help employees feel they are growing and becoming more connected to their work, which tends to be a big morale booster.
2.) Investment Boosts Loyalty and Reduces Turnover
They often go if your employees feel like the company doesn't care whether they stay or go. On the other hand, if you invest valuable resources in their learning, they feel like their company cares about them and wants them to stay. That can positively impact turnover over time, particularly with high-demand skills like computer science or leadership courses.
3.) Skill Development Shines a Spotlight on Top Performers
When you see who has the time and ability to succeed in their daily work and take on new skill development training, you start to identify some top performers. The people who seek out new skills and put them into practice go above and beyond. Management can notice them as great candidates for leadership and nurture a "hire from within" mentality that helps retain talent rather than just training top performers who feel unseen and apply to jobs elsewhere.
4.) Be The First in Your Industry to Embrace Trends
While not every new trend is ready to be mainstream, companies with well-trained and constantly learning employees will hear about the best recent trends first, giving you a competitive advantage over competing companies that don't invest in skill development. Letting your employees pursue skill development and then do internal presentations about what they've learned is relevant and acclimates teams to a strategy shift that improves the company.
5.) Create Stronger Quality Consistency
If every employee knows only their tiny sliver of work, it becomes challenging to function when even one person is away sick or on vacation. When everyone develops skills over time and cross-trains in things, like giving great presentations and communicating interculturally, your team can support each other and improve their quality and consistency in delivering results. Teams that understand what each person does can also have a higher appreciation for each other and the work done.
6.) Boost a Culture of Learning
There are a lot of different cultural values that can emerge in a company. It could be a competitive, cutting-edge environment or a group of people who prefer not to work too hard and want to be very casual at all times. One of the best cultural values to boost in your company is the culture of learning, where people want to know what other employees are up to and want to develop themselves through more learning. This kind of attentiveness can have all kinds of side benefits, but if you can create a value surrounding learning, you'll see your overall culture grow warmer and more positive. That is possible even if you focus on online training rather than in-person!
7.) Help Employees Feel Valued
Employees want to see their input is valuable and that the company understands their worth. While you should use other measures, like benefits and pay, to help employees feel valued, people spend so much time at work that pay isn't enough to make their value felt. They want to feel like they are contributing, connected, and essential. That is more likely if your employees get to train frequently in new skills.
Invest in Your Employees with PCC
Portland Community College offers a variety of skill development opportunities that help your teams flourish. Learn more about our essential skills courses today and see how you can connect your teams with the opportunities that best suit them.