According to a recent survey of managers in the UK, ‘developing people’ is in the top 3 New Year’s Resolutions for management professionals. And it’s easy to see why. Training and development not only increases productivity in the work place, but also encourages employee retention and engagement.
Employee engagement is a vital part of the development cycle – if your people aren’t engaged, they won’t communicate. If they don’t communicate, you’ll never know what they need. And if you don’t know what they need, any efforts and investments you try to make towards implementing training and development plans will be wasted.
Take a look at our quick tips for transformational training and development:
- Plan training that serves shared goals. As an employee of any organisation, it’s easy to fall into the trap of self-service: You work to earn a living and to advance in your own career. But a smart organisation will make its workforce feel that they have a greater purpose – working towards a common goal and vision. Providing training that does more than develop individual skills will help to reinforce this sense of shared purpose, and will boost motivation throughout your team.
- Be consistent. As well as developing a training and development plan for the long-term, you need to put support in place that your employees can access between training sessions, seminars, workshops, etc. Whether this is assigning mentors or having an open-door policy in your training and development department, your staff must know that there’s someone they can call on for coaching throughout the year.
- Make employee engagement an all-year-round effort. Make channels of communication and feedback available and active all the time, not only during periods of high stress. It’s all very well having a meticulous yearly appraisal process, but if this is the only chance your employees have to voice their concerns or tell you what they need, you’re missing out on 11 months of better productivity.
- Share knowledge internally. Bringing in external trainers or sending your staff to public seminars isn’t the only way to train and develop your people. Utilise the knowledge and skills of your in-house talent. Ask staff members to organise their own seminars or workshops and share their own expertise with colleagues. Not only is this a great money-saver, but your employees will feel appreciated, noticed, and they’ll recognise the benefit to their own personal and professional development.
Talk to English Matters about how we can help to transform your team in 2015.