Why Promoting Employee Development Matters

3 female work colleagues in conversation

by Sophia Young, owner of Content Studio and HRHQ contributor

It will take more than a few benefits to attract today’s workforce. If you can’t meet your employees’ need for professional growth, they will trade your company for one that can. They want the opportunity to be better – that’s your need to invest in employee development today. 

What Is Employee Development?

Employee development is an initiative that aims to improve or develop a worker’s skills in their particular field. Otherwise known as professional development, it is the employer’s effort to train their employee for future roles that align with the organization’s long-term goals. Employee development is an investment that costs time and money, however, those investments will pay off in the form of employee retention. 

It should be mentioned that employee development is a collaborative initiative. The employer works closely with employees to give them opportunities that align with their individual goals. Once the employer determines the employee’s career goals, they can create an employee development plan for employees’ growth

The employee development plan typically includes:

  • Education (e.g. enrolment in degree programs)
  • Participation in professional conferences
  • Research (e.g. conducting and presenting findings)
  • Internships
  • Mentorships
  • Short-term assignments
Why Is Employee Development Important?

It is imperative to develop employees – they are, after all, the future of the company. When employers train their employees, they can expect reciprocation in the form of loyalty, performance, and more. As a result, this lowers the rate of employee turnover and saves companies thousands of dollars in recruitment costs. 

If you’re wondering why employees can’t grow on their own, the answer is that not all of them are self-motivated. In addition, they likely don’t know how to sharpen their skill set. However, with an employer by their side, they’ll be able to be the best possible versions of themselves. 

Let’s take a look at why employee development is an important initiative:

It Improves Employee Retention

Employee development improves the retention rate. According to LinkedIn’s “Workforce Learning Report”, 94 percent of employees would leave if their company didn’t invest in their development. Furthermore, it found that Gen Z and millennials would leave if didn’t have opportunities to grow in their organization.

When employees know that their employers will invest in them, they will reciprocate this in the form of employee satisfaction. The boost in morale will propel them to perform better

As a result of retention, companies can save more money over time. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), it costs at least $30,000 to replace an employee who makes $60,000 per year. This is because it takes time for the new employee’s work to be on-par with (or even better than) the person they replaced.

It Trains Employees With Leadership Potential

One of the benefits of employee development is that it lets you build upon people’s potential. If you have certain employees who show the potential to lead, you can push them in that direction. 

Since you can choose your successor from a pool of employees whom you’ve already vetted, you can be confident that they’ll want the best for the company. It’s better than onboarding a leader who hasn’t established that sense of loyalty yet.

Besides, Joblist found that managers who are promoted from within are more likely to be respected by workers. They also found that two-thirds of employees prefer to have a supervisor who was promoted from within the company. 

It Attracts Top Talent

What does top talent find attractive? The answer is a well-made employee development plan.

Benefits like sick leaves, vacation leaves, and loans are fine but they’re expected. What sets an employee development plan apart is that not every company invests in it. Those that do can attract top talent who want to be employed for the chance to do better and be better. These employees aren’t in it for the short-term pay, but for the ability to contribute to the long-term goals.

By investing in employee development, you’ll be able to show potential employees that you care about your people. In other words, it shows that you care about what they can do, not the other way around.

It Builds a More Experienced Workforce

An employee’s skill set shouldn’t be the same a year after they were hired. When you invest in employee development, your workers will be better equipped to take on more work – and more responsibilities

And although they won’t be able to climb the career ladder overnight, they will be able to adapt to ever-evolving innovations – ones that your competitors have probably already leveraged. If your employees aren’t trained, your company will be way behind your competitors. 

Ultimately, employee development doesn’t only benefit your employees, but the entire company. 

It Improves Employee Involvement

Employee development can cause employees to be more hands-on with the day-to-day operations. This is because they’re confident that they’ll be part of the company’s future. The more you invest in their development, the more involved they will be in moving things forward.

When employees feel that their employer cares about their contributions, they’ll be more willing to get involved. They know that if they don’t perform well, there won’t be a company for them to be part of in the future. They also know that if they perform better, they will be rewarded in the form of professional training, promotions, and more it’s a win-win for all.

The Bottom Line 

If you want to build long-term relationships with your team, don’t forget about their professional growth. Professional development is not free, but it can benefit you in more ways than one. Not only will you have satisfied employees, but you’ll also be able to protect your company’s future.

About the author

Sophia Young recently quit a non-writing job to finally be able to tell stories and paint the world through her words. She can also easily kick ass with a thousand-word article about the latest marketing and business trends, finance-related topics, and can probably even whip up a nice heart-warming article about family life. Sophia also loves talking about fashion, weddings and travel