Why employers should always be developing employees

Employees upskilling using Smart Skills Digital Badges

Your organisation is only as good as your team, so one of the most useful business activities you can focus on is developing employees. Ongoing employee development is key for encouraging employee engagement, improving workforce satisfaction and equipping your team with the skills and knowledge they need to sustain and grow your business. Here’s a closer look at what modern staff training and development looks like, and why it is vital to the overall success of your business.

What is employee development?

Employee development is a team effort between you and your staff to improve their skills, knowledge and expertise in the field in which you operate. This can include employee training in new technology, developing employees’ soft skills such as leadership, or skill-based training that improve staff performance. In the constantly changing business environment, ongoing staff training and development is key to keep your organisation ahead of the competition.

With the increase in digital training opportunities, ongoing employee training is less expensive, more time efficient and more tailored to your specific needs, so it’s easy to invest in an ongoing personal development plan for employees.

Team upskilling using Digital Badges

How does staff development benefit your company?

A robust employee development plan has myriad benefits but, to summarise: you’ll attract the best workforce, you’ll enhance their skills, you’ll keep them engaged and you’ll train them to be future leaders. It’s a key model for success.

Benefits of training and development

1. Attract the best talent

Employee development is something people look for when seeking a new role, so one way to ensure you entice top talent to apply for roles at your organisation is to highlight how employee development is a priority. One study found that 70 per cent of employees would leave their current job to work for an organisation known for investing in employee development and learning, and 34 per cent of employees who left their previous job were motivated to do so by more career development opportunities. To attract the best and brightest, show them all the opportunities they will have for training and development – it’ll put you ahead of the competition.

2. Improve employee performance and engagement

Poor performance often comes from employees who are not fully aware of how they are supposed to do their jobs; it may alarm you to learn that a survey from Leftronic suggested that 70 per cent of employees believe they lack the skills needed to do their job. Employee training, whether it’s refreshing foundational skills or developing new ones, is the most obvious step you can take to improve employee performance – and therefore your bottom line. Online training allows you to tailor your development program to individual employee’s needs for the maximum return on investment.

Improving employee performance also improves engagement, as people tend to enjoy their work more when they are confident and successful in their role – which then further improves their performance. In fact, employee disengagement is estimated to lead to an annual loss of approximately $550 billion in the US alone.

3. Increase employee retention

As well as improving performance and engagement, a robust development program can help you to retain employees. Another statistic from Leftronic showed that 94 per cent of employees surveyed said they would agree to stay longer if their company invested in employee training. This is related to several facets of increased training: improved engagement, expanded career paths and increased loyalty due to the perceived additional benefit that training offers.

4. Train future leaders

Excellent leadership doesn’t just spring up overnight, it takes time and effort to develop leaders and managers that can guide your organisation. When you have employee development programs in place, you have the ability to choose and train those leaders. Investing in employee development now is an investment in the future of your business. It lets you push the right people towards future leadership roles, and creates a structure of highly loyal leaders.

Team completing an online training short course

5. Enhance smart skills

Ninety-seven percent of employers surveyed by Talbots said that soft skills were either as important or more important than hard skills, and according to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 89 per cent of recruiters say when a hire doesn’t work out, it usually comes down to a lack of soft skills. It’s clear that soft, or smart, skills training is essential – and these skills are just as learnable as technical or industry specific skills.

Smart Skills Digital Badges

This is where Smart Skills Digital Badges come into play. These are a dedicated series of short courses designed to improve those key skills employers are looking for: leadership, interpersonal skills, creative and critical thinking, the ability to drive change, and digital innovation. Smart Skills Digital Badges combine traditional soft skills with key technological drivers of change, equipping learners with a powerful toolbox to tackle complex real-world problems.

Smart Skills Digital Badges are a great option for your staff training and development as employees can learn from anywhere, there are no specific start dates, and they can complete these courses at their own pace.

There are six Digital Badges to choose from: Championing Organisational Change and Driving Impact, Creative and Critical Thinking, Digital Innovation Essentials, Digital Marketing Essentials, Interpersonal & Workplace Essentials and Leadership Essentials and Leadership Essentials.

Each takes just six to 12 hours to complete, and completion of the course gives employees a verifiable digital badge to share their qualification and digital expertise. If they complete all six, they have the option to take a Professional Practice Assessment and gain credit towards a formal qualification.

Find out more about our Smart Skills Digital Badges and how they can help you with your employee development plan.

Explore our Short Courses and Digital Badges
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