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5 Tactics to Grow and Develop Employees

You’ve made great hiring decisions and built a strong team. Now how do you grow, develop, and most importantly retain this rock-star talent? 


Investing your time and resources into employee growth and development is an incredibly strategic move to fuel your organization’s continued momentum. It’s wildly beneficial for all parties, as employees ultimately perform at a higher level, feel cared for, and get more done. 


Not only is it beneficial to all parties, it’s an expectation of employees. In the last few years, the Great Resignation has left companies feverishly searching for ways to retain and recruit key roles. Despite this, a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management noted that 29 percent of employees surveyed didn’t feel optimistic about the opportunities that they have for training, development, or learning new skills.


Employers that want to recruit and retain great people will need to put emphasis on employee development. Here are 5 tips to get started:


  • Transparency & Real Time Feedback


Transparency improves communication and collaboration. It creates a conducive environment where team members feel freedom to collaborate and conquer the challenges they face. It also allows employees to open up about mistakes they’ve made, challenges they’re experiencing, and ideas they have.


This form of transparent communication also opens the door to real time feedback. Employees today depend on reliable, consistent feedback to improve their performance. Instead of an annual review, employees are looking for frequent feedback throughout the year, and even throughout individual days and weeks.


Real time feedback and transparent communication provides employees with a strengthened understanding of how they’re performing and how they can grow. It provides an opportunity to celebrate successes and learn from mistakes incredibly quickly, and before any ambiguity develops. 


To no surprise, this is something else that’s critical to a large portion of employees. In fact, 60 percent of Gen Zers noted that they’d like their manager to check in with them several times throughout the week. In fact, even 40 percent of those surveyed noted that they’d like one or more check-ins each day.


  • Soft Skill Development


Soft skills go beyond technical workplace strengths. The focus for soft skills is primarily on one’s communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills among others. While soft skills are more dependent on personality and emotion, they’re still able to be improved and developed.


There are several methods managers could deploy to help sharpen soft skills. A few of these methods include:


    • Identifying the soft skills your company values most. The soft skills that are most beneficial and closest to your organization are the most important, and are certainly different from what other organizations value.
    • Immersing yourself in development. This could include weekly one-on-one meetings, and personalized coaching. This can also include year-round soft skills training.
    • Making soft skills feel more tangible. Historically, soft skills have been labeled as immeasurable and intangible. Now, we’re able to measure just about anything. A potential investment is a 360 assessment tool like CultureAmp that can help you and your organization benchmark and document real development.

  • Employee Recognition


Recognition among peers and co-workers can not only have a positive impact on job satisfaction, but can make a substantial difference in work engagement and retention. Recognition can be coupled with monetary and other rewards to have a magnifying effect, but recognition can be a far more powerful tool than reward. This is because a reward occurs a single time, whereas recognition is a benefit that lasts for days, weeks, or months.


Simply put, recognition is critical to retention. Here are a few ways to put recognition into practice in your organization:


  • Quickly recognize and congratulate successes. When someone meets a goal, completes an admirable piece of work, or simply goes above and beyond, showing appreciation and doing so quickly is a great way to give recognition.
  • Shoutout employees company-wide. Rather than individual recognition or sending an email, consider delivering praise publicly and company-wide in an all-hands or similar meeting. 



  • Learning Management Systems


LMS (learning management systems) allow organizations to keep training materials in a central, often cloud-based location where it can be easily organized and accessed. This means that employees will be able to continue their workplace learning from anytime, anywhere.


This is particularly helpful for teams spread out geographically, or with remote employees.


A common misconception about learning management systems is that they’re only possible for large organizations with large budgets. While there are plenty of enterprise-level LMS systems, there are also numerous affordable, user-friendly systems that can be implemented by any small business. Here are a few trusted LMS systems:



  • Turning Managers into Mentors


The role of managers as mentors has slowly eroded in recent years, mainly due to the increase of workload and number of direct reports, leaving managers feeling like they don’t have the time or skills to mentor each of their team members. 


This is a solvable problem, though. With the right tactics and strategies, many employees can quickly turn into the mentors that develop and educate employees at a high level. In order to accomplish this, and organization may consider:


    • Creating a culture of mentoring partnerships. There’s a lot to learn for both mentors and employees. Encouraging mentorships as two-way partnerships to share lessons learned and accomplishments are great ways to build incredible team relationships and develop a culture of mentorship.
    • Encouraging coaching at a peer level. Peer-to-peer level coaching is a great way to approach this. One way to allow peer-level coaching is to allow peers to collaborate in problem-solving and projects.
    • Find the mentor within every employee. There are numerous individuals with a wealth of information waiting to be shared with others. Team members who may not present a desire to coach or mentor could still have numerous opportunities to share their knowledge. A method to encourage this could be having individuals who are proficient in a topic give a coaching session or mini-seminar to the rest of the team.


In Summary


Employers that want to recruit and retain great talent must focus on employee development. It’s great for managers, expected by employees, and simply makes your organization more efficient.


CPS Recruitment has a wealth of knowledge in employee retention. If you’re looking to grow and retain your staff, click here!

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