Personal development is essential to business growth and employee morale. The feeling of learning new skills, putting them into action and progressing up the career ladder is what helps keep staff around. That process doesn’t happen by itself however, so businesses need to lay foundations for their people to thrive.
It’s a need that may be greater than ever in the face of so much global uncertainty. Over half of furloughed UK employees were strongly considering a career change back in April for example, while many took opportunities to set up their own businesses.
So what steps can businesses take to keep their valued workers motivated and help them realise their potential?
Get to know the individual
It may sound like a cliché, but it’s essential to know that everyone is different. One person’s working style and ambitions may be wildly different to another’s, so getting to know staff on an individual level will help you discover what motivates them.
That could be money, promotions or other kinds of rewards. Whatever it is, think about what’s ahead of them and how you can help them get there.
Provide tailored training
That first step is likely to uncover specific training needs. People usually prefer to work at companies that invest in training and dedicate adequate time to it, so training can even be a competitive advantage.
It’s worth identifying trusted training providers and resources that relate to your industry. They could provide professional certifications for example, boosting staff morale even further.
Invest in HR management software
Whether you have a dedicated HR department or not, at the very least you need to be organised. HR management software will help you collect documents and data to track performance over time, while allowing employees to log in and do the same.
HR software can also automate many potentially time-consuming processes like payroll and annual leave requests, freeing your team from extra admin.
Create a mentor system
Mentoring can help employees develop positive and productive working relationships. Senior staff gain management experience, while juniors can learn tips and tricks from their more experienced colleagues.
It can be especially helpful to provide new starters with a mentor to help them get to grips with their new working environment, particularly if your team works remotely.
Provide regular feedback
Without feedback, it’s difficult to know what you’re doing well and what you can improve upon. Providing it regularly will reassure your staff of their value as well as helping them learn from previous work.
Feedback should be constructive where possible otherwise it has the potential to demoralise. What can they aim to do better next time, and how?
It can be easy for employees to stagnate – but by following tips and principles such as those described above, businesses can keep moving forward.