Personal development

Benefits to personal development: the benefits of investing in the career growth of your employees

For workers to perform at their best, organizations must promote autonomy and strong relationships between workers and managers. (Photo: Shutterstock)

As “The Great Reshuffling” spreads across industries, many HR professionals are more determined than ever to increase employee satisfaction ratings and lower replacement costs for their best employees.

Resignation numbers started to tick around August 2020, following massive changes related to the pandemic. As much of the global workforce moved from the office to their home in the spring of 2020, employees have been thinking about their personal and professional lives. When asked what benefits they are most interested in going forward, more than half listed professional development and coaching as one of their top three priorities – a radical departure from the previously fun benefits sought.

Related: 4 Ways Businesses Can Support Employee Learning & Development

It is becoming increasingly evident to employers that employees no longer appreciate office perks like free ping-pong tables and lunches. It’s not just because remote working has made them obsolete, but also because employees want more control over their careers.

According to LinkedIn, the new world of work is about “developing skills quickly on a large scale”. Desktop games don’t generate these results, but the right learning and development programs do. A more meaningful investment in the careers of your employees, such as coaching or mentoring, not only helps the employee, but will also promote the success of the organization as a whole and, therefore, can also be of significant benefit to the employee. ’employer. What kinds of benefits can employers expect to see?

Stronger relationships

When the world moved away last March, employers debated the concept of tracking tools to monitor employee productivity. The employees quickly backed off. They wanted to feel that their employers trusted them and would support them in uncertain times. Instead, it was as if they had someone looking suspiciously over their shoulders. For workers to perform at their best, organizations must promote autonomy and strong relationships between workers and managers.

Strong relationships come from investing in leadership development, not oversight. Good leadership development programs make better leaders and employees that organizations can trust. For example, coaches and mentors can work one-on-one with employees to hone specific skills, identify areas for growth, and encourage improvement. These investments give employees the tools they need to thrive, inside and outside of the workplace. And they benefit employers, who will see engagement rates and productivity levels increase, as employees feel more supported, trusted and inspired.

Increased retention and promotion rates

As the pandemic has evolved over the past 18 months, many workers have reported feeling stuck in their jobs and limited in their upward mobility. Therefore, recent trends in employment reports show that employees are ready to jump ship: 95% of workers in a June survey said they were considering quitting their jobs. The second highest reason for wanting to quit was the lack of career development opportunities. The disparities between genders and races are even more striking. For every 100 men promoted to managers, the researchers found that only 85 women were promoted. Of this full sample size, just 71 Hispanic and 60 black women were promoted at the same rate.

Additionally, black workers are more likely to be overrepresented in low-paying entry-level jobs and underrepresented in managerial and managerial positions, making them good candidates for mentorship programs that are often inaccessible to them. Implementing mentoring and coaching programs can increase retention and promotion rates among employees, regardless of their background, but can have a particularly powerful impact on employees from under-represented backgrounds who face challenges. additional leadership barriers.

Optimized productivity

Career development benefits, such as mentoring and coaching, help level the playing field for remote and office workers. Microsoft, Apple, and Google are among the larger organizations that have embarked on a hybrid return-to-work model. While workers may welcome this new flexibility, some fear being treated like second-class citizens if they stay at home. The right training and development programs can help organizations develop their employees, at all levels, at scale, whether they are in the office or not. Employees can feel supported, no matter where they are, when they receive one-on-one career mentoring. In contrast, a digital-only asynchronous learning tool, which cannot deal with individualized situations in real time, may not have as much of an impact on their career growth.

For executives who want to retain their current employees and attract top talent, it’s time to put away table tennis tables and office-independent, but less personalized, perks like digital-only learning tools. Workers want to grow in an organization that values ​​them enough to invest in their leadership development with personal mentors and career coaches. And with the right tools, it is possible for organizations to ensure that they reap the benefits of these investments, by developing and retaining conscious and effective leaders.

Cameron Yarbrough is the co-founder and CEO of Torch Leadership labs. In this role, Cameron leads business development, sales and marketing and sets Torch’s strategic vision. He brings 15 years of entrepreneurial experience to his role as CEO, as well as a solid background in mindfulness and psychotherapy.

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