As Quebec’s worker shortage worsens, employers are faced with a record number of employees leaving their jobs, leaving companies with more positions to fill than candidates. Faced with employees whose expectations now surpass compensation issues, employers have an interest in finding solutions to retain their personnel.
Professional development is a remedy to many of the issues facing employers today. An extensive survey conducted by LinkedIn, 2022 LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report, revealed that employees believe professional development is the most important way to improve company culture. In addition, according to a report by The Execu Search Group, 86% of professionals surveyed said they would be willing to change jobs if a new opportunity offered them the chance to learn new skills.
Clearly, the emphasis on learning and development is also beneficial to employers, as employees show more commitment and have a higher retention rate.
Here are five ways to value development and learning in your organization:
1. Develop Mentoring
For employers, mentoring is an effective way to develop talent. In addition to transferring important knowledge and skills, mentoring helps develop future leaders who understand the skills needed to succeed in the organization. For the employer, investing in mentoring includes:
- Promoting a culture that fosters personal and professional development
- Sharing behaviors and attitudes that are desirable to the company
- Increasing the leadership and mentoring skills of senior management
- Improving staff motivation and morale
- Engaging, retaining and developing the best employees
The primary role of a mentor is to encourage personal and professional development by sharing knowledge, expertise and experience. The mentoring relationship is based on respect, communication and mutual trust.
Mentoring is one of the most valuable and useful developmental tools that can be offered to an employee. The support of an experienced and trusted mentor can have many benefits. For mentees, the primary benefits include:
- Exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking
- Development of strengths and elimination of unwanted behaviors
- Increased visibility and recognition within the company
- The opportunity to develop new skills, competencies and knowledge
2. Constant Feedback
The relationship between the manager and the employee is a vital link in managing career development. Communication is critical to the success of this relationship.
Employees are more engaged when they receive consistent feedback. According to a Gallup study, only 20% of millennials who do not meet with their manager on a regular basis consider themselves engaged.
Regular meetings and consistent feedback not only ensure better employee engagement, but also increase performance.
Here are some tips for effective feedback:
- Align feedback with what the employee wants to accomplish
- Give feedback about a behaviour or attitude that the employee can influence
- Support feedback with facts
- Use a respectful tone
- Encourage the employee to welcome feedback as a forward movement, not as a step backwards in their journey
3. Job Enrichment
Job enrichment consists of offering employees greater latitude by making their daily tasks more complex.
Be careful: the idea is not to overload employees by redundantly increasing their workload, but rather to enrich their ability to develop intellectually.
Too often, employers wait until new employees are comfortable in their new roles before offering them a professional development program. However, by including them in the process from the start, development can have a much more profound impact on their experience with the company.
4. Internal and Lateral Mobility
If an employee wants to diversify his knowledge, why not offer him the opportunity to do so within your company?
Lateral mobility does not bring prestige or additional power. However, it allows for the exploration of new knowledge and contributes to the development of a global understanding of the organization’s functions.
Taking on a new job at the same level within the organization is a stimulating and learning experience. For the employer, the main benefits of internal mobility are:
- Allows for the reduction of recruitment costs
- Promotes professional growth
- Enhances and promotes the company’s human capital
- Retains talented employees
5. Assigning Special Projects
Being assigned special projects allows employees to acquire new skills and to engage in new experiences. These opportunities can stimulate professional growth and work motivation.
Participation in special projects can help organizations with succession planning by allowing members to acquire skills and knowledge that will benefit their career development. In addition, it allows the employer to discover each individual’s potential.