It is a known truth that you have to spend money to make money. Continuing to reinvest in your business in smart and strategic ways is essential to remain competitive in ever-changing markets.
However, understanding where and how to allocate resources can be a complex budgetary act. Technology and equipment upgrades, infrastructure maintenance, marketing programs, and talent acquisition often take priority. But when Gallup reports that, it’s over 50% of US workers “quit quietly”, it is not an option to reinvest in your current workforce.
Competitive salaries, good fringe benefits and flexibility are musts in the current still tight labor market. However, prioritizing employee development has some added benefits that really make it a win-win proposition. From increased job satisfaction and loyalty to better retention rates – and ultimately better employees – continuing to learn benefits everyone involved. If you’re not already focusing on employee development, here are some reasons why it’s time to change your focus.
1. It attracts top talent
Every company hopes to bring in top talent. Since the pandemic-induced pivot toward more remote work options, applicants now have access to opportunities across the country and the world. Top performers are looking for more than just decent salaries and substantial fringe benefits. For ambitious, motivated individuals, development opportunities are a major selling point. They thrive on challenges and are constantly looking for opportunities to stretch and expand their skills.
Potential employees want to know that they have a future in your organization. They want to land somewhere that offers longevity and room for growth. When you promote a culture of professional development, these individuals can see that their motivation is both valued and embodied by your organization. They want to reach their potential and your company should be committed to making sure they do.
2. It increases retention
Even more important than attracting new talent is retaining the people you already have. Replacing a lost employee can easily cost half of the annual salary or more. And when a team member leaves, they take with them both vital institutional knowledge and a meaningful amount of corporate morale. Losing great employees can have a devastating domino effect that results in even more turnover.
Emphasizing professional development sends a clear signal that your company cares about the future of its employees. Moreover, it also views those employees as an important part of the company’s future. Continuous development enables employees to see themselves in your long-term company vision and values. Loyalty comes from this shared expectation of a mutually beneficial future – and loyal employees don’t go away.
3. It keeps staff happy and engaged
Job dissatisfaction and boredom really cost companies money in lost productivity and engagement. Team members must feel that their work has real meaning and value. Happy and engaged employees deliver better quality work, have a higher output and make far fewer mistakes. In addition, well-trained employees know better how to do their job effectively. And with more positive results comes even more job satisfaction.
Helping your employees grow encourages them to constantly reinvent themselves and their day-to-day work. It keeps both their minds and their perspectives fresh. Ask team members how they envision their position in the future and help create the maps to get them there. Ultimately, the successes of your employees are the success of your company.
4. It empowers you to create future leadership
By investing in employee development, you can shape your future leadership to the specific needs and values of your company. With a culture of learning and growing, you can recognize budding leaders early on. Provide them with targeted opportunities to expand and diversify their skills to create a pipeline of qualified candidates for future job opportunities.
By promoting from within, you keep your investments in your employees. These insiders already know the day-to-day running of your company. They can move more easily into new roles, building on previously acquired knowledge and skills. Recognizing and leveraging existing talent can also empower colleagues to strive for more progress and greater accountability.
5. It keeps your organization focused on the future
Staying ahead in a world that is moving at lightning speed is no easy feat. Industry standards are constantly evolving everywhere and staying relevant is a must. Business-level innovation is essential for securing markets and continued expansion. New strategies can improve products, increase efficiency and reinvent outdated processes. But achieving innovation requires a company that consists of innovative minds.
Professional development connects employees with new people, fresh ideas and creative ways to approach current and future work. Through continuous learning, employees can build industry knowledge, discover new strategies and techniques, and learn about the latest technological advancements. They can bring the spirit of innovation into their daily work and adapt more easily to future changes.
In today’s job market, professional development has moved from a nice perk to an essential requirement. It attracts high achievers who want to reach their potential and makes current employees feel useful, supported and valued. Whether you promote learning through training courses, mentorship programs or training allowances, as employees grow and develop, your company can follow suit.