Leading employers recognize the importance of putting the professional development of employees at the heart of company policy. Why? Employees are waiting for it. Talented professionals work for a company that helps them build skills and knowledge and advance their careers.
Even in times of uncertainty, managers should not underestimate the importance of supporting employees ’career development. Therefore, they may undermine morale and productivity by making talented employees feel valued. And in the long run, a company may have to lose these depressed workers after competition once the job market has recovered.
Use the following strategies to show your employees that they support both companies and managers as they want to grow professionally and pursue a career:
Personally consider your employees ’career goals
If you lead a remote group, you know how important it is to be in regular contact with your colleagues. This interaction should include regular meetings with team members in person to keep you in line with their professional goals and expectations. This type of management support can make employees feel valued – and increase productivity and loyalty.
Help employees map out a potential career path in the organization so they can better visualize their future in the company. Identify achievement specific milestones and support resources that employees are likely to need along the way. The boss’s clear, direct, and consistent communication about career development can help employees feel more committed.
Promotes virtual education and learning
Vocational training and continuous learning help employees in their career development. So you encourage team members to attend relevant business courses and workshops that contribute to their professional development. Virtual learning opportunities are a must for many teams right now, and thankfully there are many affordable opportunities available. (Although budgets are currently thinner, keep in mind that investing in employee career development can generate a strong return on investment for your business.)
You help your employees not only address individual needs and develop specific skills, but also help them stay involved in the industry. A cost-effective method that is easy to arrange is to host lunch and learn sessions with external or internal speakers. Also give your employees time and flexibility to participate in virtual industry events. Consider asking these employees to tell their peers what they learn from these events.
Promoting mentoring and job shadowing
Establishing a formal mentoring program can be one of the smartest steps a company can take at any time – both for itself and for the personal and professional growth of its employees. Mentoring can also be an effective tool for hiring outside workers.
While mentoring is often seen as transferring knowledge from permanent team members to less experienced employees, mentoring is a two-way street. While supervisors can provide less experienced colleagues with well-deserved insight and professional advice, they can also benefit from new perspectives and technological expertise from new employees.
The roles of employees are changing
The human brain thrives on variation, and job rotation is a smart way to awaken the daily lives of workers. Consider giving employees the opportunity to work in different departments or functions. (A job rotation program can make it easier.) These opportunities help your team members acquire new skills, become more grateful for their colleagues ’actions, and have a deeper understanding of the company.
Job exchanges can also be an effective way to increase interdepartmental collaboration and build relationships with an external team. And the organization benefits from a more diverse workforce.