What is employee development?
Employee training and development are terms often used interchangeably, across sectors, and encompass various employee learning practices. More specifically, employee training involves programs that enable employees to learn precise skills or gain knowledge to improve job performance. Employee development is a process whereby the manager and employee work together to create a development plan. This plan identifies areas to develop or enhance, and ascertains what actions or activities need to be taken to acquire and embed that learning. This development plan is aligned with the organization’s goals and ultimately serves as a template showing skills that the employee requires and how they can go about acquiring them. Now, more than ever, owing to the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the COVID-19 pandemic, learning and development (L&D) in business is taking top priority in the workplace.
One of the biggest challenges faced by business leaders driving the adoption of disruptive technology, is insufficient internal skills when combining technology with technical proficiency. As industries innovate so new technologies emerge, which has a profound impact on education and development. The ability to merge new technology with creative learning methods will ensure that teams learn new skills or reskill dynamically, through a future-oriented approach.
Training is crucial for organizational development and success. It is fruitful to both employers and employees of an organization. An employee will become more efficient and productive if he is trained well.
Training is given on four basic grounds:
- New candidates who join an organization are given training. This training familiarize them with the organizational mission, vision, rules and regulations and the working conditions.
- The existing employees are trained to refresh and enhance their knowledge.
- If any updations and amendments take place in technology, training is given to cope up with those changes. For instance, purchasing a new equipment, changes in technique of production, computer implantment. The employees are trained about use of new equipments and work methods.
- When promotion and career growth becomes important. Training is given so that employees are prepared to share the responsibilities of the higher level job.
The benefits of training can be summed up as:
- Improves morale of employees- Training helps the employee to get job security and job satisfaction. The more satisfied the employee is and the greater is his morale, the more he will contribute to organizational success and the lesser will be employee absenteeism and turnover.
- Less supervision- A well trained employee will be well acquainted with the job and will need less of supervision. Thus, there will be less wastage of time and efforts.
- Fewer accidents- Errors are likely to occur if the employees lack knowledge and skills required for doing a particular job. The more trained an employee is, the less are the chances of committing accidents in job and the more proficient the employee becomes.
- Chances of promotion- Employees acquire skills and efficiency during training. They become more eligible for promotion. They become an asset for the organization.
- Increased productivity- Training improves efficiency and productivity of employees. Well trained employees show both quantity and quality performance. There is less wastage of time, money and resources if employees are properly trained.
Here are four reasons why employee training and development is important:
1. Positive employee retention
The hiring and retention of talent can be an ongoing challenge for employers, however one way to retain your staff is by providing them with career development opportunities. Including development program offerings in employment contracts establishes an employee’s sense of value within the company, fostering loyalty and ultimately increasing staff retention. Investing in your staff’s professional development is not only vital for team retention, but learning and development professionals worldwide have reported that they’re observing a stronger appetite for upskilling than ever before.4
2. Training future leaders
Acquiring leadership talent can start from the initial acquisition, or human resources professionals can select current employees as managerial candidates. Having established leadership development programs ensures that a business is always considering future organizational goals and succession planning by preparing promotable talent.
Recent research shows that leaders who inspire, ignite people’s imaginations, and mobilize them with a compelling vision are more impactful than managers who simply focus on the bottom line.6
4. Increased workplace engagement
Regular development initiatives can help keep employees motivated, while frequent training programs will also establish regular re-evaluation of employees, skills, and processes. Assessing the current skills and abilities within a team will enable managers to strategically plan targeted development programs that consider any potential skills gaps.