EverythingPeople This Week!

Published on Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Setting Up an Employee Development Program

Author: Heather Nezich

When done correctly, employee development can be one of the biggest drivers of success in an organization.  Numerous research studies demonstrate that career advancement (or lack thereof) plays a big role in employees’ decisions to either join or leave an organization. Talent development can consist of formal training courses, mentoring or coaching, and cross training between departments.  Investing in your employees' development can pay off long term with turnover reduction and increased employee engagement.

Career development is often cited by employees as extremely critical to their level of engagement within a company and a key reason why they leave for another job.  According to research by the Hay Group, the biggest gap between employees planning to stay with a company and those planning to leave is the employee’s level of confidence in being able to achieve his or her career goals.  A solid talent development program is a crucial element to an employee retention program.

When evaluating or developing your talent development program, ask yourself these questions:

·       Are high performers leaving your organization?  If so, why?

·       Do you have the right people with the right skills in the right jobs at the right time?

·       Are your employees prepared to meet the challenges for transitions in the organization before they happen?

·       Are talent development efforts aligned with business goals?

·       Are sufficient numbers of employees adequately developed to assume roles as they are vacated?

When developing a program these factors should be considered:

1.     Have a structured program.  Figuring it out as you go will likely result in an unsuccessful program.  In addition, people in charge of the program should be experienced in talent development.  If that doesn’t exist within your company, consult externally.

2.     Create individual employee plans.  One size does not fit all in employee development programs.  Consider each employee’s individual skill set and career goals.  Sit down with each employee and discuss skills they would like to develop and the growth they desire within your organization. Create realistic goals and timeframes.

3.     Create a learning environment.  “Knowledge is power; so is experience,” LaurieAnn Norwood, learning and development manager at Bedgear in Farmingdale, N.Y., stated in a recent interview.  Employee development needs to take place in a welcoming, collaborative environment. Formal learning can take place in a classroom; however, it’s important to offer opportunities for employees to apply what they’ve learned in the workplace setting.

4.     Pay employees for their time.  If the employer requires an employee to attend a training class or continuing education class, they must pay the employee for the time.  But even if the training is not required, it’s best to pay for the course and the employee’s time in order to boost employee morale and truly encourage employee development.

Employee development does not have to be a costly undertaking.  In fact, the risk of not offering talent development to your employees could wind up being much more costly. 


ASE offers a vast array of talent development courses, both online and in a classroom setting.  Visit our
website additional information.

Sources: LinkedIn, Entrepreneur.com

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