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Essential things to do before encouraging employees to self-develop

May 30, 2019

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Talented people will always find their place under the sun when it comes to job opportunities. That applies to your teams as well, so you need to make sure that they feel welcome and empowered under your wing so as not to look for employment elsewhere. In fact, unlike that outdated idea of an office where it’s perfectly acceptable to simply work in the same job year after year for fair compensation, the priority is now given to growth opportunities, building a diverse office culture, and shared company values. Your employees want to work within a business whose values and principles they share, and where they feel there will always be room for advancement.

If you need to step up your game when it comes to encouraging self-development in your teams, use this simple, but effective guide to change some of your office policies. You’ll be surprised just how much of a difference some of the most minor changes can make when you implement them correctly and with the right intentions in mind.

Build a mentorship program

When a new employee joins your ranks, they will likely need some help adjusting to the new environment and getting used to the rhythm of your office. This transitional period can be much easier on them and much more productive if you assign them a mentor to help with their new role.

This mentorship system is a simple way to boost collaboration in your teams, and while each new employee can get an assigned mentor, let them know they can talk to anyone at the office. Encourage curiosity, asking questions, and giving their own suggestions – that way anyone who takes part in the mentorship process has the opportunity to advance.

Provide regular workshops

In addition to ongoing guidance, your employees, old as well as new, will benefit from having access to targeted training seminars to upgrade their skills. After all, every industry is developing as we speak, new tools, software solutions, and integrations are available, and the more you give your employees to learn, the more grateful they will be.

Let them take part in choosing the workshop topics, as well. This will help keep company morale high, and you’ll have more insights into your employees’ interests. Tailor the workshops to their needs, bring relevant speakers and teachers to your workshops, and let them expand their knowledge – it will ultimately help your company advance.

Encourage diversity

Development is not limited to your employees’ professional skills alone. On the contrary, if you create a culture that focuses on every aspect of their lives, you’ll be able to foster empathy, mutual respect, and collaboration on many different levels within your business. Take, for example, how people in Australia and Tasmania in particular are looking outside of the proverbial hiring box when looking for new team members in order to stay competitive and inspire strong team bonds inside their companies.

More businesses are using disability employment services in Tasmania in order to find talented individuals from all walks of life. By providing them with the support they need, you can help your existing team members grow closer, and you’ll foster a company culture based on empowerment and mutual encouragement. This professional environment in turn helps your employees develop their inter-personal as well as their communication skills, patience, and empathy. Now that is an office in which every modern employee would love to work.

Support their education goals

In addition to internal educational opportunities and heading out to conferences and seminars, you should also help your employees pursue their schooling goals outside of their profession. If you need inspiration, look to various US companies that encourage learning as a part of their employees’ mindset by providing financial aid and help with time-management when it comes to obtaining an education.

As an example, Amazon has a Career Choice program helping their employees get certified for in-demand jobs, while Boeing also has its own Learning Together program for reimbursing tuition fees for high-quality schools. Even if you’re not a corporation of such magnitude, you can certainly find a way to make it easier for your employees to earn a degree in their field of interest.

Offer cross-training inside your company

This is an approach that has often been used by brands to help the company – but it has many merits for the employees as well. Cross-training among different departments allows your employees to expand their knowledge base and master skills they would normally never have the chance to master, working with your own in-house experts.

In turn, this will help foster brand loyalty inside your own business, and give them a much more refined understanding of the many complex processes that are necessary to build a business. Finally, their improved communication will help improve the quality of service you provide. As an example, if your content writers have more knowledge on how your customer service reps talk to your clients, you can allow for consistency in brand voice to emerge.

If your employees express a desire to learn, this is a perfect opportunity for you as well as all of your team members to improve, grow, and advance, as individuals and as a business entity. Make sure to provide regular advancement opportunities, outside of increased salaries and similar perks, and inspire your employees to stay curious and keep learning!