This story was written by Genise Wade, Chief Human Resources Officerat The Wenger Group.
Employers are currently challenged with “The Great Resignation.” Millions of employees have taken time during the pandemic to evaluate what is important to them and are making the decision to change jobs and/or careers for a variety of reasons. According to Phillip Kane’s article, The Great Resignation Is Here, and It’s Real1, “The market is being flooded right now with people looking for something better, people who have had enough of organizations that do not care.”
Kane indicates caring comes in many forms such as good employee communication, transparency to community involvement, taking a stand for things they believe matter, and investing in employee training and development. Focusing on the latter, the statistics below further support the importance of employee development, particularly in an environment where employers are fighting to retain the talent they have.
94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.2
70% of employees would be somewhat likely to leave their current job to work for an organization known for investing in employee development and learning.3
34% of employees who left their previous job were motivated to do so by more career development opportunities.4
Employee development does not have to require costly tools and processes to be successful, nor does it always require expensive training solutions, but it does start with some sort of performance assessment and an understanding of the employee’s aspirations. Assessing an employee’s performance can be as simple as ensuring they know what is expected of them, having an objective view of their performance against those expectations, and providing clear feedback on whether they are meeting expectations. Knowing their career aspirations requires only a conversation. Even if your company does not have a formal performance management process to facilitate these discussions, you can still provide feedback, receive feedback, and create a development plan together. If budgets are a concern, look to local resources to find free training solutions or be creative with other low-cost methods to provide experiential growth such as on-the-job projects or community involvement.
Development plans should be specific to each individual. Even if they have similar roles, every person has different needs and desires. It’s also practical to assess the extent of time, energy, and money you invest in each person. After all, development is a two-way street. Employees need to be invested in their own development for it to be successful. Consider where you would place your employees on the following chart to help you determine what kind of development plans would benefit them most.