Turning New Hires into Star Employees: The Importance of Employee Development

You have invested a lot of time to find the right talent for your team. You have had a successful onboarding process, and your new hires are a good culture fit. What now?

The time it takes to find the right talent can be overwhelming and the mistake many companies make is not investing the time to develop these new employees after they are integrated into the organization.

Maximizing the potential of your employees is critical for the long-term success of your business. After making new hires, it is crucial to invest in employee development and workforce planning to ensure that your team is equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve your business goals. Employee development involves identifying key areas for growth, providing training and support, and creating opportunities for professional development. Workforce planning, on the other hand, involves assessing your current workforce, forecasting future needs, and developing strategies to meet those needs. By strategically pairing employee development with your overall business plan, you can build a team that is not only capable but also aligned with your company’s goals and values. This consistent investment in your employees also helps to create a sustainable company culture that supports long-term growth.

Key elements of employee development and planning

An employee development plan is important not only to your new employee, but also has a lasting impact on your business.

It’s important to be clear about your business goals so that you can build your employee development plan around not only the employee’s goals but the company’s goals. For example, will you be growing organically, through acquisition or going public? What product/service lines do you plan on expanding in the next few years? Have you mapped out your organizational chart of the types of roles you need now and in the future? Answering these types of questions will be important as you create individual employee plans.

The first step is to create a professional development plan with your associates. These steps include:

  1. Evaluate the current skill set of your employee. Learning about their previous experience is key and creating a plan on how to incorporate these skills into their new role is vital to their success.
  1. Ask your employee about their developmental goals. Many associates will be able to share their current and future personal goals. Many businesses, especially smaller ones, don’t have the resources to incorporate employee development plans so your new employee may be more than happy to share these goals. Involving employees in this plan not only allows them to take ownership of their growth but is key in increasing employee retention.
  1. Create the employee development plan in incremental steps, document their achievements so you can continue to review progress and build on the plan.
  1. Include long-term and short-term goals along with progress metrics in your plan.

How can I best carry out my plan:

  • Provide Training: Training will be essential for your employee’s continued development. For example, if you have an employee that wants to move into a supervisor role in the next two years, implementing a training plan that will support this transition will be important for the success of the plan.
  • Provide Ongoing Feedback: Meet on a regular basis to measure the effectiveness of the plan and provide feedback to the employee consistently. This will provide them a road map on how to continue to progress.
  • Recognition and Rewards: Recognizing your employee’s progress by providing them positive verbal feedback will be an ongoing important priority. Planning for potential promotions when merited as well as providing incremental pay raises and bonuses when you can, will be important to retain employees.

Employee Retention is directly related to successful employee development plans

SHRM data indicates that only one-third of employees are satisfied with how their employers support their personal development plans.

A study by Better Buys surveying 2,000 employees, showed that organizations with a professional development plan had more satisfied employees. These businesses had a 34% higher retention rate than those not offering these development opportunities.

With the time spent on recruiting, onboarding, training, and integrating new employees into your culture it is key to spend the upfront time on a plan. This will not only increase the retention of new employees but that of existing staff members. Having a detailed development plan from the time a new employee is hired can make all the difference in your success.

Putting the time into plans helps boost overall morale and has a lasting impact on your company culture. Employees will feel valued, have more loyalty to your business and this will be evident when employees represent the business’s products and services to customers. This well-executed plan will allow your company to have a competitive edge in the market.

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