4 Signs Your Employee Development Program Is Outdated

August 5, 2019 Stephanie Klemperer

employee development

Struggling with employee engagement and high turnover? If so, it might be time to take a hard look at your employee development program. This is especially true if you still consider development to be an employee perk—not a company priority.

The world is constantly changing, and so are your employees’ views on the workplace. Professionals are no longer looking to climb the corporate ladder with one employer. Instead, they are looking to gain new skills and experiences for the future. When employees stop learning or growing, they will start searching for new development opportunities. And guess what? More than 80% of them will quit once they find them, according to our eBook on Career Development.

If you don’t keep up with this trend, you risk losing your top performers to competitors who have made greater investments in employee development. To prevent (and reverse) this turnover, look out for these 4 signs that your employee development program is outdated:

Training opportunities are only offered once or twice a year

If you are still dedicating a couple of days a year to formal, classroom-style training, it’s time to move away from this “one and done” approach. For a development program to be effective, employees need consistent opportunities to build upon the skills and knowledge they are learning during training. To accomplish this, you need to stop viewing training as an event and start carrying it out on a daily basis.

This could involve a mix of online classes, on-the-job training, and group learning. You should also encourage staff to pursue professional development outside of the office by attending events and joining industry associations.

There are major skills gaps in your workforce

Research has found that 64% of managers do no think their employers are able to keep pace with future skills needs. If this is a major concern for your organization, it’s a sure sign that your employee development program needs some work. Instead of looking externally for talent to fill in the gaps, you should ask yourself how you can empower current staff to develop the skills the organization requires to hit future objectives.

You are taking a “one-size” fits all approach

If your employee development program is standardized across the organization, you are assuming every employee learns in the same way. Since this is rarely the case, you need to consider offering customized development plans. To do this, managers should be tasked with assessing the career goals, professional interests, weaknesses, and strengths of their individual team members.

At the same time, you should be flexible in how employees approach their career development. Making time for learning can be difficult when juggling busy work and personal lives. To ensure your employees can get what they want and need out of training, they should be given the opportunity to make their own training schedule and choose what training format works best for them.

You aren’t embracing new technology

In today’s technology-driven world, top performers want to stay up-to-date with the latest tech trends in their industry. If your organization uses outdated computer infrastructure and software, these employees will grow concerned that their skillset will become obsolete. These technology frustrations can quickly lead to turnover, so your organization should upgrade to (and train employees on) new technologies when and where it makes sense for the business. At the same time, staff should be encouraged to explore digital solutions that could help them have a greater impact in their roles.

[eBook] Career Development: The Smartest Hiring + Retention Strategy For A Competitive Market

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