It’s no secret that hiring and retaining top employees is an essential component of a business’s success, especially a small business. However, there is a lot of competition and the best recruits expect a top salary with all the bells and whistles (i.e. perks and benefits). So with all that to consider, how can small businesses offer effective employee development?
What is the importance of effective employee development in small businesses?
Research has proven that employees “feel more valued when employers invest in their training and development.” That’s why training and employee development is as effective as perks and benefits. And if you think a thorough, well-established employee development plan will cost a fortune, you’d be wrong. You CAN create effective employee development on a low budget. That’s all thanks to technology (like Connecteam’s all-in-one mobile app), networking and some creativity, you can do anything.
Great Place to Work found three key ways the top 100 companies develop and retain talent, all of their employee development plans are designed to:
- Meet employees’ ambitions
- Realize company goals
- Groom top talent for leadership roles
By following the above and developing a concrete, high-quality relationship based on trust and camaraderie, employees are happier, work more productively, and are more loyal to the company.
With that in mind, it is quite simple to adapt these three ways to suit your own business needs and budgets. On top of that, we outline 7 tips on how to create effective employee development.
We highlight how to create effective employee development even with a low budget.
1. Start From Day One
As soon a new hire starts their new job, they need an efficient and smooth onboarding process. You want the new hiree to go home and rave to friends and family that they had the best first day ever. Plus, you’re setting up employee development from the get-go.
Through your employee handbook, you need to clearly lay out what the first day, week, month, and so on will look like. Set expectations early on, like what is their job role and responsibilities? All expectations and company policies should be explained – a seasoned mentor can assist with this. Explain what the objectives are and introduce them to the company culture.
Make sure you are asking the new hire(s) their feedback! Do this frequently throughout the on-boarding process. From day one to week one to week two and month one.
CONNECTEAM TIP: With Connecteam, an employee management and communication app, you can create a survey from scratch or via pre-made templates, and the data is neatly presented so you can clearly view the answers – if a change is needed, you get that feedback instantly instead of months down the line.
2. Create A Connection
There should be NO misunderstanding as to what your company’s mission and goals are. With an established company culture, this can be easily implemented.
In fact, “A positive company culture is the most powerful way to differentiate your organization, motivate your staff, and drive your company forward.”
CONNECTEAM TIP: Communicate with an individual, a group, or the entire organization by distributing visual, rich, and engaging content and to measure its reach and impact in a click. Benefit from advanced features such as pre-scheduled updates, social engagement support for likes, comments, etc. and automated follow-up capabilities on Connecteam’s employee development app.
3. Gain and Give Feedback
Frequently ask for your employee’s ideas and options and be sure to take action on what they have to suggest. Employees want to be a part of the company’s growth, especially when they have a hand in that process.
Deliver feedback to your employees frequently as part of their development – however, feedback isn’t a criticism or disapproving comments. Be constructive and be specific on how the employee can improve and develop. Do not just give feedback during a six month or annual review, do this monthly because employees always want to know how they’re doing. Feedback can be used as a recognition and growth tool, and should never be used to be-little an employee.
CONNECTEAM TIP: Ensure every employee’s voice through our employee development app so everyone is heard by making decisions based on organizational surveys and live-polls, launch a suggestion box to gather your team’s feedback, and introduce your team with structured channels to query or approach HR and senior management, allowing your team to be heard and share their thoughts.
4. Managers Need To Coach Their Employees
Employees need to be properly trained by managers on a daily basis – a manager’s knowledge, insight, and skills are crucial to employee development. In turn, though, managers need support from the company to perform his/her work efficiently instead of being overwhelmed with work.
If you’re a manager, ask your employees these questions to be able to best help them:
- Are you up against any obstacles? If yes, how can I help?
- What action can you take next week to improve your performance overall?
- What are you interested in learning to help you in your job role?
Act more like a coach and mentor to energize your employees.
CONNECTEAM TIP: Create training and courses within the employee development app, or training can be divided into sections or chapters. All course completion is visual so employees can track their training progress. This way, your employees can receive coaching while even on the go and at their own pace.
Note that points 4, 5, and 6 show that when you make your training and knowledgebase digital, you actually set the ground for hard-working employees to ramp-up their skills whenever they want.
5. Take Learning & Development To The Next Level
Learning is a continuous need that needs to be met in the company. Instead of just teaching employees during on-boarding and occasionally throughout the year, make it a part of your company culture. However, there should be a balance so employees are overloaded with information.
CONNECTEAM TIP: send updated policies in the click of a button, along with brushing up an employee’s skills so they can deliver the best customer service at every turn. Create a knowledge hub with our employee development app so employees always have access to the material needed, create and send quizzes to test an employee’s knowledge, have a live group discussion so you can broadcast important information, and more.
6. Let Employees Create Their Own Career Development
Learning is no longer a one size fits all! Every employee is different and therefore needs to be able to control their learning. Discuss the employee development plan with the employee so you can suss out individual interests and goals. As you talk, it will be easier to identify the plan and activities needed. The plan should act as a roadmap and the goals need to be kept realistic otherwise the employee is doomed to fail from the start.
CONNECTEAM TIP: Together with your employee, create an employee development plan that works for them especially to boost their development. You can create chapters, add seminars or videos, create quizzes, and more. In addition, the adaptable libraries on Connecteam’s employee development app create a hub of knowledge for your deskless team, which can be accessed at any time and allows for easy search capabilities.
7. Be Flexible
Just as you tailor each employee development plan to fit the employee, do the same about the “how”. If the employee is a millennial then chances are that they will want to use their cell phone to complete the plan. You need to structure how an employee learns to match their preference.
CONNECTEAM TIP: Create flexible training with Connecteam’s employee development app as it allows you to create surveys that evaluate training needs, success, and overall employee sentiment, or use your Suggestion Box to receive feedback on a routine basis. The insights your team provides help to improve the online training experience.
The Bottom Line On Employee Development Programs
As you look to retain top talent and encourage others to join, an employee development program and an employee development app is a great way to track one’s personal career growth. This way, you are prepared to promote within the company to establish a well-balanced environment and a healthy company culture. After all, it’s your employees who greatly influence the bottom line and keep your customers happy so ensure that there is an open door on opportunities to keep them productive, motivated, and with the company for longer.
In a tap, create effective employee development programs
Easily create an employee development program to help make your employees more effective and knowledgeable, but you can also improve employee satisfaction. It’s as easy as clicking a button! Find out more now.