Are you looking for ways to improve employee retention?
Provide opportunities for education and professional development. A survey from Middlesex University found that 74% of workers felt they weren’t reaching their full potential due to a lack of employee training and development.
Education is empowerment, and employees feel more fulfilled when they have opportunities to advance their skills.
There are several ways to incorporate employee development into your work culture.
1. Give Employees the Flexibility to Learn at Their Own Pace
Everyone learns at their own pace and in their own way. However, many employers overlook this important caveat when designing their training programs.
Rather than putting employees through the motions of a conventional training program, allow them the freedom to learn at their own pace.
When employees have the flexibility to review training materials how they want and when they want, they’re less likely to rush through topics they don’t fully understand. Self-paced learning also allows employees the time to process the information they’re learning. That processing time plays an important role in retaining newly learned information and skills.
2. Get Hands-On With Your Training
Give employees the opportunity to experiment with and try out their new skills. Hands-on learning can help reinforce training. Some of your employees are visual learners, and being able to put concepts into practice can help reinforce skills.
Research shows that students learn more when participating in active-learning techniques. The same concept applies to professional development and employee training.
Hands-on training can also make the learning process more enjoyable. When learning is fun, employees will not only be more focused, but they will also be more motivated to learn.
Additionally, giving your team the chance to apply what they’re learning in a controlled environment will build confidence. Employees can practice their skills without having to worry about making mistakes.
3. Use Online and In-Person Training
E-learning and in-person learning both have advantages. Why not take advantage of both by offering a blend of online and in-person training.
Self-paced, online learning platforms give employees the opportunity to digest the material how and when they want. The freedom and flexibility that e-learning offers can help employees better retain new information.
In-person training adds that human element to the equation and gives your employees the chance to ask questions during training sessions.
By blending these two training methods, you give your team the advantages of in-person learning while having the ability to review the training material later on. Having references on-hand can help employees apply their new skills with confidence.
4. Offer Coaching and Mentoring Opportunities
Online and in-person training are two excellent ways to provide training, but coaching can be a more effective option when it comes to professional development.
Coaching pairs an employee with a more skilled and experienced individual to help the employee develop new skills, improve productivity or reach career goals. The one-on-one nature of coaching allows for a more personalized approach to professional development.
Mentoring is similar in nature, but rather than being paired with someone outside of the company, employees will be matched with a more experienced and skilled colleague. Mentoring programs have been shown to reduce turnover, improve productivity, foster a positive work environment and attract new talent.
For coaching and mentoring to be effective:
- Both parties must be held accountable
- Coaches and mentors should be assigned based on the employee’s development needs
- There needs to be a system for tracking and establishing goals
- All parties must be willing to commit their time
Mentoring and coaching programs can help employees reach their career goals while feeling more fulfilled and satisfied in the workplace.
5. Create Individual Development Plans, or IDPs
Employees have professional goals or career milestones that they hope to achieve. Having a plan can help them achieve those goals. In addition, the skills and experience they gain are also a boon for your organization. After all, top talent is a valuable asset.
Creating individual development plans, or IDPs, can help accelerate employee learning. IDPs are documents that outline the employee’s goals, the resources they need to reach those goals and their learning outcomes.
IDPs encourage employees to make an investment in their careers and themselves. By creating a roadmap to success, IDPs can help your team reach their development goals and enjoy greater job satisfaction.
6. Incorporate “Stretch” Assignments
Employees can gain valuable experience, insights and skills from stretch assignments. These projects provide on-the-job training and allow your team members to learn while doing real, meaningful work.
To advance in a career, you need to have the right skills and experience. Developmental assignments help employees gain experience that can give them an edge. Those in mid-level management positions, for example, may be more likely to succeed if they have experience handling difficult employee situations and other challenges.
7. Provide Cross-Training Opportunities
Cross-training can be an effective way to help employees advance and focus on their professional development. With this approach, employees receive training for other job duties. In addition, opportunities for cross-training can help improve skill diversity and help team members meet qualifications for more advanced positions in the future.
These training opportunities also give you an indication of which employees are interested in development and which skills they want to acquire.
Many employees find that cross-training is valuable because it gives them the opportunities to learn new skills and gain valuable hands-on experience.
8. Job Rotation
Just as the name suggests, job rotation programs move employees from one job to another within the organization. Rotating through different roles gives your team a better understanding of your business as a whole. During their assignments, employees may also develop an interest in a particular role or area of the business.
Additionally, job rotation programs can help stave off the boredom and career stagnation that contribute to high turnover rates.
Education and Professional Development Benefit Employers and Employees
Offering employees ample opportunities for education and professional development benefits both you and your team. As a result, your organization gains the advantage of a highly skilled and driven workforce, while employees enjoy greater job satisfaction. The ideas listed above are just some of the many ways to cultivate a learning culture in your organization.Tags: work culture