Employee development is essential for your company's success. Ongoing learning and development of competencies increase well-being, motivation, and retainment—benefitting both employees and the organization.
Developing in the job has always been vital for employee well-being. In a job survey from AS3, 31 percent answered that they had changed jobs due to a lack of development. And if you and your company are to support your employees' development, you need to know their current skills and development wishes. Employee development and performance development also support your company's growth, innovation, and adaptability. It is all about having the right team members with the correct (updated) skills on board—now and in the future. Otherwise, your company will not achieve your growth and strategy goals.
Continuous competence development can seem like a never-ending cycle.
It can be difficult to get a handle on employee development and make it specific so development points are clear to both employees and managers. Development can be perceived differently from employee to employee. Some may immediately think of courses and continuing education. Others may think of networking meetings, mentoring, and on-the-job training. There are many types of development that you as a company can offer to your employees, depending on their skills. This is important, because if you do not make your employees more skilled, your company will not become more skilled either. And without skilled, up-to-date employees, it is difficult to achieve your company's goals. So how do you go about it?
We give you three steps that can systematize the work with competence development for both HR and management.
Engage your employees in their own development
It can be tempting to fall into the trap of 'this is how we usually do it' when it comes to developing a specific role or a specific area of interest. But if you forget to listen to the wishes of individual employees, you risk sending them on to the job market instead of addressing your company's needs.
Ask regularly about employees’ development wishes instead of guessing or assuming. Perhaps the employee is interested in changing work areas? In further education? Or lacks specific feedback on a task? Let the employees take responsibility for their own learning and development by entering into a dialogue with them about ideas and ways to evolve. Keep the development discussion as open as possible, as it will make the employees see the many opportunities to develop within your company. Now and in the future. Being involved and listened to often turns out to be a motivating factor in itself for employees.
Set goals for competence development
Working with talent management will easily become unspecific and unmanageable if you do not set goals for each employee's development. Both for employees and managers. How can employees develop if they do not know how or in which direction? And how can the manager best support the development if there are no milestones to watch? You also need a common understanding and alignment of expectations regarding certain competencies. For example, what does it mean to be innovative? And do managers and employees perceive it the same way?
Set specific, easy-to-understand goals and milestones in collaboration with the employee, which you can later support the employee in achieving. Companies often work with a numerical or verbal value scale, for example, a scale from 1 to 5. If you are the best at collaborating, you are a 5; if you are not so good, you might be a 2.
Therefore, part of the preparation for setting goals for competence development is to ensure that the company and employee understand a certain competence in the same way: Do we agree on what it means to be cooperative? What does it mean to score a 2 in cooperation? What if the employee should ideally be a 4 to be able to solve the tasks in the best way? And perhaps most importantly: Do manager and employee agree on the place ranking? Dialogue is therefore important before you decide whether and, if so, how you should approach competence development.
The next step is, therefore, a dialogue about how you can best do it together. You may agree that the employee should seek out additional tasks in teams. It may also be that the employee needs to attend a course or change an ingrained behavior (an example could be remembering to send a meeting report on the same day as the meeting and not 14 days after). Close the gap by grabbing the toolbox of various development options so you land on a good solution together and get actual goals to work towards. This ensures clear lines for all parties—and a greater likelihood of retainment and employee well-being.
Follow-up is key
It is one thing to listen to the employee's development wishes and set goals for them. Putting this into practice and following up is even more important. The result does not appear if there is no follow-up.
Your employees will be more motivated and will see you as a trustworthy employer when you remember to follow up on agreements, goals, and wishes. If you have agreed that the employee should collaborate more in teams or on a course, then you follow up on those agreements. Has it gone as planned, or is there reason to make adjustments? Perhaps you can already move the employee up the numerical scale.
It can be a mouthful to have an overview of the employee's needs and wishes for development, set the right goals and milestones, and ensure that follow-up is done at the right time especially if the information lands at the bottom of the desk pile. You may never see those papers again.
The solution can be digitized, ensuring nothing gets lost or forgotten. With Emply, you get a place to gather all employees' wishes and skills, so it becomes clear for managers to see where the employee is now and where they would like to be. Instead of papers with interview forms, feedback sheets, and post-it notes for follow-ups, managers receive reminders directly in the system to follow up.
Create a digital learning space
In Emply's LMS module (Learning Management System), you can create a digital training room for your employees to develop their skills through e-courses and e-learning. The module gives you a complete overview of materials, participant lists, and approval flows so you avoid time-consuming organization and administration. And it is a flexible and accessible way to offer your employees talent development and training.
Systematize feedback that benefits both employees and the company
Something we easily forget in our busy working life is to give the right feedback. In an ideal world, the right feedback occurs continuously, is planned, and is systematically directed at the employee's actions and behavior. It can be based on the employee's performance on specific tasks and projects but also on how things are going in achieving the set development goals and milestones.
In Emply, you have optimal options and tools to support a good and effective feedback culture that benefits the entire company. You can tailor development plans and feedback forms to the specific needs of your company, which automate and organize the work with feedback. Through continuous feedback, you gain valuable insights, ensuring you always have a feel for the company's conditions and any dissatisfaction.
Continuing and further education
Coaching and mentoring sessions
Networks and network meetings
Personality tests and programs
Feedback can be difficult to give and receive. A healthy feedback culture is based on a safe environment, managers as role models and a good structure that ensures a good feedback process. See our tips on good feedback here.
Have a clear purpose for the conversation. Good feedback requires preparation
Base your feedback on specific actions or behavior
The feedback must be about an action or task—and not personal
Turn the feedback session into a dialogue
Give good advice and look for joint solutions
Make the feedback direct and concise
Tread carefully with your words — and remember the positive elements
Employee benefits have become a retainment parameter for employees: What can the workplace (in addition to my salary) offer me in terms of attractive benefits that I can make use of both at work and in my private life?
Some of the most common employee benefits are pension, maternity benefits, health insurance, home working days and unrestricted telephone. Several of these benefits are seen as hygiene factors today—a matter of course that must be in place before any employment can be discussed. This is therefore something you must consider in your employer branding strategy, making sure that you meet the candidates with the benefits they see as a minimum for employment.
For some, maternity arrangements may be particularly relevant if they are on the verge of starting a family, but as a rule it is a pension and flexible working hours candidates give most weight to out of the many employee benefits out there.
As more benefits become hygiene factors, additional benefits will be added to the pool that can be used as differentiation. It can have a positive impact on your recruitment and retainment if you offer benefits that go beyond 'the usual'.
New employee benefits that are gaining traction:
Home cleaning scheme
4-day working week