Why You Need to Invest in Employee Development

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PI047020We hear a lot about employee development and yet still there are only a small percentage of employers that take the time to invest in employee development. Perhaps this is because it is greatly misunderstood. Let’s look at this issue a little deeper.

Many employers mistakenly see employee development as an expense they don’t need, but actually employee development helps your company and it benefits the employee, which makes for a happier employee.

To have successful employee development managers’ need to clearly define what it is they see employees as needing to grow and advance. This needs to occur at an individual level, not a ‘blanket policy,’ unless of course the training is basic. For example, those in the food industry might all require ‘food safe.’

The job of the HR department and manager is to know what an employee needs to know in order to do their job in a highly functional manner. That requires honesty and clarity. We often think we are being clear when we actually are not. For example, you might see your employee as aggressive and one person might see that as confident. If you are defining areas where you think employee development could be beneficial, you need to be very clear so that there are no misunderstandings in the direction that development takes.

One of the best ways to do this is by describing an employee’s behavior. In that way, you and others can easily see and define what type of employee development would best suit the employee. If the employee is actually aggressive you might describe that behavior in detail. For example, an employee acts out with other employees and is quick to anger when things don’t go his way. The employee will bully his way to ensure he gets the sale. In this manner, you can clearly see that the employee’s aggression isn’t about being highly focused, it’s about aggression!

Employee development can play a key role in having a workforce that is highly tuned and runs like a ‘well oiled machine,’ with less downtime and fewer incidences that cause lost production. Don’t see it as an expense, but rather an investment in your company’s future.