How to Create Effective Employee Development Even With a Low Budget

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

It’s no secret that hiring and retaining top employees is an essential component to 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.

Create Effective Employee Development

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.

 

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 on-boarding process. You want the new hiree to go home and rave to friends and family that they had the best first 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. 

Connecteam's survey and suggestion box functions on their employee app

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. With Connecteam, 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.”

3. Gain & 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. Use Connecteam to create a suggestion box that is available at all times and on any matter so employees can freely send suggestions whenever creativity strikes. 

Employee recognition is a powerful engagement tool

Deliver feedback to your employees frequently as part of their development – however, feedback isn’t 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.

 

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 the 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.

 

5. Take learning and development needs 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. 

With Connecteam, you can 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 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. 

document library on mobile training app

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.

 

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 is an all-in-one mobile app that is easy to use and doesn’t require any training! All an employee needs to do is download the app, enter the company code and go. That’s it. When it comes to learning, they can easily pick up where they left off so completing their employee development plan is easy-peasy and as an admin, you can track their progress. If someone hasn’t finished a chapter, you can send them a push notification to remind them to do so. Or start a one-on-one chat to gage if they have questions about the material. 

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