Training may sound expensive, but turnover can be devastating. Recruiting, hiring, and training one new employee can potentially cost you up to 200% of that person’s annual salary. With this in mind, take a look at the following eight great ways to develop your employees:
A well-designed training program maximizes learning before, during, and after instruction. Consequently, it translates into positive, lasting changes on the job. These effective programs can include onboarding/orientation, on-the-job training, and classroom instruction. In addition, internet-based learning (webinars) is an increasingly attractive option that allows employees to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule. With access to the material at any time, they can also learn on weekends or evenings to advance themselves.
2. Self-Directed Learning
Putting individual employees in control of their own learning allows for personal differences in learning styles. It also encourages ownership of the learning process. When using this approach, many employers work with employees to co-develop a learning contract or a personal development plan. The contract or plan, signed by both parties, outlines clear learning goals.
3. Coaching and Mentoring
Improved quality and quantity of work are demonstrated benefits of these approaches. It transfers learning and, for employees, improves communication and problem-solving skills. Not all coaching and mentoring programs are effective. The successful ones are highly dependent on the skills and personality of the mentor or coach. In addition, adequate time for coaching and mentoring sessions, and established timelines and goals are key.
4. Employee Promotion
Promoting someone to a position of greater responsibility is a traditional way to reward good performance, develop employee skills, and retain valued employees. Effective promotion involves careful consideration of many details. It is important to identify gaps in skills and experience and providing support through training, coaching, or mentoring.
5. Job Enrichment
Job enrichment increases the employee’s authority or responsibility within their current position. Examples include committee work, special assignments, or serving on cross-functional teams. This approach, as a result, increases interest and motivation by allowing employees to try new skills, building new relationships, and explore new areas of specialization.
6. Job Rotation and Cross-Training
When applicable, job rotation moves an employee consecutively through one or more different positions. The rotation can last several hours, several months, or even a year or two. Cross-training is a specific type of job rotation where an employee learns the skills of a different position. These approaches can effectively add diversity and interest, prepare individuals for promotion, rejuvenate work units, and improve communication.
7. Lateral Moves
In a lateral move, an employee moves to a different position with a similar status, pay, and responsibility. For an employee who doesn’t want increased responsibility, a lateral move may offer new challenges or encourage the development of different skills.
This approach increases flexibility and communication among work units and, in small businesses with few opportunities for advancement, helps to retain valuable employees who might otherwise leave.
8. Job Aids
Job aids include checklists, ‘cheat-sheets’, tip sheets, wallet cards, posters, pictures, code lists, flow charts, and diagrams. Basically, anything that offers on-the-spot practical help or reminders. Job aids can reduce what information employees need to recall by providing easily accessible facts. Well-designed job aids are concise, written in plain language, and make good use of white space and graphics for easy interpretation.