Every employer wants great employees who show up to work each day ready and willing to do their best work for their business. So, it's only fair that, as their employer, you support their professional development - especially if these skills will help them grow within your company.
If an employee expresses interest in learning new skills, it's crucial that you show them you have their back. By doing so, not only can you help build a strongly skilled team for your business, you can also create an environment where employees are eager to grow and learn.
You can unleash all your team members’ potential by supporting and encouraging their professional development. Read on to learn more about why employee career growth and learning matters, and how to empower your employees to build a stronger team through supporting their learning.
Employee career growth is an individual’s progression toward their ultimate professional goals. There are many reasons why investing in employee development is important.
Supporting employee career growth can:
So now you know why supporting your employees' growth and learning is so important for the overall success of your business, let’s look at how you can support it.
Incorporating learning and growth into your core values can ensure your employees shine through in your people strategies and business decisions. Talk about career growth throughout the employee lifecycle, beginning with recruitment and onboarding, and continuing during 1:1s and performance reviews. Encourage your team members to engage in learning activities during the workday and to share their learnings with their colleagues. Demonstrate your value for learning and growth by rewarding your developing team members with recognition and promotions.
Career mapping (also known as career pathing) is the series of jobs an individual intends to hold during their time at a company (or over their career as a whole). It’s more than just a list of jobs, though - think of it as a roadmap. To get started, you can sit down with each member of your team to discuss their career goals and ask questions like:
Once the employee has a goal in mind, you can work with them to create a roadmap that gets them from their current position to that destination. This might include promotions to aim for and weaknesses to overcome. This can expand into continuous performance management, with regular 1:1s with your employee to ensure they are on track to achieve their career goals.
Employees like to know that their efforts are contributing to the organisation’s success. If your staff see and feel how their contributions to learning new skills are benefiting the company, it makes for a stronger and more confident team. Employees who have the trust and cooperation of their team members outperform individuals and teams that lack good relationships. Employers should express the value of collaboration within the organisation.
Based on a recent survey, many employees feel that they receive immediate feedback when performance is poor, and not enough praise when performance is high. Coaching and giving praise boosts morale and encourages employees to continue to learn so they can contribute to the overall success of their organisation.
Some of your team members may take professional growth into their own hands by reading blog posts, listening to podcasts, or enrolling in educational opportunities. Others may need more support to find the time, cover the costs, or feel emboldened in their career ambitions. It is important that you give a variety of ways to upskill as every person is different when it comes to learning. This could be through online training, encouraging collaboration with other team members within their team or in different departments, or by 1 on 1 coaching.
It is important not to focus on specific skills related to their current role. In some instances, an employee may have a keen interest in presenting, but they may not have the opportunity in their day-to-day tasks to construct and deliver a presentation. As their career progresses, if the interest has been nurtured, then they are prepared and confident when the time comes to take the next steps. Power skills courses are a great way to help develop both personally and professionally.
Having access to the most up-to-date training that has been created by subject matter experts can not only fulfill the mandatory training requirements for your business, but it can provide your employees with personal and professional courses to encourage and support their learning.
Your team members will always have an opportunity to grow and learn in their chosen career path, but with your support and encouragement, you can help them realise their full potential. Teams that learn together grow together. By helping your team become smarter, stronger, and more resilient, you are creating a force to be reckoned with.
At Virtual College we offer a variety of online courses and resources developed by professionals and subject matter experts in a range of topics, from education to retail and hospitality, to offer you and your employees the best learning experience possible. You can search through our online course categories to find the resources you need to develop professionally.