It’s no secret that your employees are the most important part of your business. Without a strong team that is dedicated to the company, you’re never going to succeed. Most business owners recognize this which is why they put a lot of effort into hiring the best possible people that they can. But a lot of people don’t put as much effort into encouraging employee development which is just as important. You need to help your employees improve their skills so they’re always finding new ways to be more productive. This is important for two reasons; firstly, it helps you because you’ve got employees with more skills. But it’s also good for them because it gives them new challenges and stops them from becoming complacent and bored, which is one of the major reasons that productivity drops. If you don’t think that your employees are developing enough, here are some of the best ways to encourage them.
Before we look at specific ways to encourage employee development, it’s important to discuss employee retention. If your employees aren’t staying with the company for very long, you don’t have the chance to develop them and you aren’t getting the benefit of any new skills that they’re learning because they’re moving to one of your rivals. It’s important that you invest in your employees long term and help them to develop over time. That’s why employee retention is absolutely key. The longer you keep employees on for, the more development you will see in them.
Have Clear Goals
If you’re trying to improve an employee in certain areas or teach them new skills, it’s important that you have clear goals in mind. It’s not enough to just say, I want you to be better at sales. You need to identify certain specifics that they’re struggling with and set them clear goals. You can use a concept called OKR (objectives and key results) which is used by some of the most successful companies in the world like Google. First, you set an objective that you want to achieve and the key results that you would like to see, then you can start to define OKR initiatives that will help you to meet those objectives. For example, if you’ve got sales staff that are struggling to close sales over the phone, their objective should be to improve their phone skills. The result of that should hopefully be an increase in closed sales. You should also consider investing in software that will help you to manage your objectives and outcomes effectively.
Provide Good Feedback
Employees cannot improve their performance if they don’t know what they’re getting wrong in the first place, which is why good feedback is so important. If you’re just telling employees that their performance needs to improve but you aren’t giving them specifics, that’s not helpful. It will also cause them to lose motivation. Instead, you should start by telling them which aspects of their work you’re happy with, and then give them some specific advice on how they could improve.
If you follow these 3 steps, you’ll see a lot more development in your employees and they’ll be far more productive.