One of the most pressing challenges faced by business leaders in today’s market is employee retention.  The well-documented candidate shortage has placed the cards well and truly in the hands of the candidate. Starting salaries are higher than ever before and employees can negotiate harder than ever before around working arrangements, salary, and benefits packages.

(Are you an employer wondering how to navigate the tech candidate shortage? Read our advice here).

One benefit of employment high up on the employee wish list is opportunities for learning and development. One study conducted by learning platform, Udemy found that 42 percent of employees said that learning and development were the most important benefits when deciding where to work.

Offering a comprehensive and competitive growth and professional development strategy can help control employee turnover, as well as attract ambitious and eager new starters.

Here are some ideas to support employee growth and development in the workplace.

Tips for employee growth and development.

Offer recognition and rewards.

A productive and motivated workforce starts with a company culture that acknowledges hard work and rewards exceptional achievement.

A recognition and rewards program helps to motivate a team and encourages loyalty. When your workers feel valued, performance and productivity increase.

Rewards are a great way to incentivise your team to grow within your organisation.

Tip – why not try some out the box thinking here?

  • One study found that 47% of employees enjoy spontaneous rewards more than annual or bi-annual schemes. A reward when you are least expecting it is appreciated far more than one you may be expecting.
  • Reward for effort, not just attainment. This is especially true for more junior team members learning their roles.

Real-time feedback.

According to one study, 90% of employees would rather their employer tackle learning opportunities and their mistakes in real-time, as they make them rather than in an annual review.

Being made aware of the areas where you could improve at the time when you need to improve them offer opportunities for coaching and guidance.

Real-time, ongoing feedback allows evaluation and communication in a loop that really helps the employee remedy any learning needs.

Organisations that don’t offer a continuous training model can’t expect employees to grow and develop at the rate needed to be successful within their roles.

Use a Learning Management System (LMS).

Learning Management Solutions offers businesses a solution to creating, managing, and delivering training materials or courses manually.  Businesses can utilise these scalable solutions to streamline employee training.

A well devised LMS can also ensure that learning is quality assured. The training is standardised, so means that all employees are trained to the same program and to a consistent standard.

It also frees up resources in the training lifecycle. Of course, these won’t suit every role or organisation, but for standardised training, such as Health and Safety, for example, these offer a great way to devise, deliver and track employee training.

Mentorship and Coaching.

Another way that organisations can support learning and development is through mentoring and coaching.

Mentors offer a wealth of knowledge, support, skill, and guidance to new hires or existing staff members looking to grow and learn from someone who has excelled.

Management styles have evolved into less dictatorial relationships between leaders and their teams.  Working relationships have become far more collaborative; based on communication rather than authority.

With that in mind, a solid mentorship scheme can ensure that the responsibility of support is spread around senior team members and doesn’t just fall to one individual.

Emphasising the mentorship culture has development benefits for all involved – not just the mentee.

Read more on the benefits of being a mentor here.

Work on soft skills.

Soft skills are the non-technical traits that help you progress in your career. Examples of soft skills include things such as time management and communication.

It is common that soft skill development is overlooked in training and professional growth, especially when it comes to those who need them the most…leaders.

High performing individuals are often promoted based on meeting KPIs, hitting sales targets or high productivity, not the skills which allow them to lead effectively.

Offering a structured soft skills training program that assesses and develops the soft skills of leaders can help to increase the productivity and output of the entire organisation.

Not least because those with better soft skills make better managers. This is backed up by the leaders themselves. One study has found that 87% of managers wish they had been given more leadership training before being asked to lead.

Implement cross-departmental training programs.

Businesses today are becoming more integrated.  There has been an increased value placed upon the chain of events or the lifecycle of the entire organisation.

Businesses that offer a cross-departmental training program will inspire employees to be the best they can be.  They offer an understanding of what each department or role requires to succeed.

It also offers an opportunity for employees to learn new skills that may spark an interest. These offerings to try something new will ensure employees feel valued and are given a chance to meet their ambitions.

Continuously develop.

The tech sector is continuously developing. Every day, new tools and technologies are emerging that will change conversations and dictate the horizon.

As a result, organisations must meet the changes with an ever-evolving training program.

A creative, engaging, and responsive training program will inspire and enthuse your workforce. It sends a message that their development is important and that you are running a forward-thinking, future-proofed business.

Are you looking to scale your tech team and need our help? We can find you the people you need to propel your business forward and make 2022 your best year yet.

Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you, and to hear more about our unique approach to talent solutions.

About the author: As a founder of Ignite Digital Talent, I lead our brilliant team to ensure we deliver time and time again for our clients. I also stay closely networked with industry influencers to ensure we are well placed to understand the issues and challenges our clients face.

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