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You Reap What You Sow: Employee Development as a Retention Tool

Employee engagement is important.

The disengaged employee is more likely to leave, and each time that happens, according to HR Dive, it costs your organization an average of $15,000.

Gallup points out that 51% of U.S. employees are not engaged in their job.

While you can’t force employees to improve their attitudes and jump into a role with both feet, you can create a positive work environment that brings out the best effort from your team. One way to do this is to give back to employees by recognizing their importance by giving them opportunities to improve their skills.

Looking at Employee Engagement Facts

Creating an employee development program could be the solution to your employee engagement problem, and ultimately a way to retain your best employees for the long haul.

Engagement Statistics: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Check out this compilation of statistics on employee retention in 2017:

  • The Conference Board says the cumulative effect of disengaged employees costs U.S. companies between $450 to $550 billion annually.
  • HR Dive says 75% of employee turnover is preventable.
  • Glassdoor says the average U.S. worker spends 15 months per job.
  • Gallup says 51% of all U.S. employees are currently looking for a new job.

Engaging employees in the success of an organization means giving the ways to grow and expand in their career within your organization. Creating a roadmap for employee development gives them some clear goals and the training necessary to achieve them.

Employee Development = Employee Retention

The first step toward creating a fully engaged team is to start a candid conversation about their career goals and provide counseling and an action plan to achieve those goals within your organization.

Here are the four key steps toward creating an employee development plan:

  • Create a 360-degree employee assessment process. The process should be transparent and include a number of tools such as performance appraisals, self-assessment and skill assessments, personality tests, and more. The goal is to work with the employee to create a defined set of benchmarks based on their current strengths and weaknesses.

  • Next, map out an employee development work plan incorporating employee and manager goals and a timeline for skills improvement. Define the learning management plan to increase skills and even set up a mentoring process.

  • Offer the tools and educational opportunities to help the employee meet their benchmarks. Seminars and certifications, conferences, training, experiential and traditional educational opportunities can all be leveraged to shore up any gaps in employee skills.

  • Finally, measure and reward success by recognizing the employee for their efforts to improve. Sharing their hard work with the rest of the team will help others see the positive impact that the employee development plan is having on the individual, the team, and the company itself.

Encouraging employee growth by creating a personalized plan and then helping them achieve it will create a more positive corporate culture.It will also help retain at-risk employees by helping them achieve concrete goals that make them feel good about your organization.

Need Help with Retention?

Employing an employee development plan is the best way to both retain existing employees and attract new candidates. Need to read more on that topic? Click here.

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