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Why you should make 2022 the year you develop your employees

When planning what 2022 is going to look like for you and your employees, factoring in professional development training could be the difference between failure and success, and here’s why…

The stark reality is that employees are leaving roles where there are little or no growth opportunities. The Great Resignation continues, and employees are waking up to the fact that there is a talent shortage and that this puts them in good competitive standing in the job market. Professional’s skills could well be in demand elsewhere, and other organisations could well offer better perks and benefits.

Companies must act fast to counteract this. They must take action to retain employees, as well as attracting new talent. They need to pay close attention to their company culture, the employee experience and look to build in perks that really matter!

What development looks like in 2022

Gone are the days of pizza in the office on a Friday afternoon being a top benefit of the job. Progressive companies are recognising that in the ‘new normal’ employees care more about flexible working options, employee development plans, and, importantly, recognition.

“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough that they don’t want to.” - Richard Branson

Recognition has become increasingly powerful where teams are remote or hybrid. Gratitude and acknowledgement makes distributed employees feel closer and more connected. Businesses must promote a workplace culture where recognition is tied to their company vision and values, and show appreciation when team members demonstrate innovative thinking, team working or agility. Recognition has a direct correlation to engagement, and we know that engaged teams are more successful in reaching goals.

Development-wise, companies have to focus on what employees need to be both productive and fulfilled. Professional training is, of course, key, but a program of development reaches far beyond that.

Here’s what employee development looks like in 2022:

  • Conducting regular 1-2-1 meetings opens up an opportunity to acknowledge recent victories. It also allows employees to establish personal goals and for employers to work with each team member to put a plan into action for achieving their goals.

 

  • Upskilling employees with training courses that work to grow their competencies and fill a skills gap in the organisation. Take a look at the wide range of professional development courses we offer at ILX.

 

  • Skill sharing amongst employees is set to become more common. Remote workers may crave social interaction at this stage and skill-sharing is a great way to connect employees. It also builds understanding of what our colleagues’ roles consist of, strengthens empathy and aids team working.

 

  • Team building activities should not be forgotten just because teams are hybrid. Team building activities strengthen valuable soft skills such as collaboration and team working and boost morale too.

 

  • Mentoring and on-the-job training is a great way for professionals to get hands-on experience, as well as support and encouragement from senior staff members.

 

  • Advancement opportunities are sure to be favourable in 2022. Ambitious professionals want to understand how they can progress within the organisation.

 

  • Research and development time should be built into all employee’s weeks. This could be as simple as allocating 10 minutes each morning to read business blogs and online magazines. Or it could be an hour or two a week to spend on an accredited e-learning course.

What development does for business

From a business point of view, developing your employees can work to fill skills gaps. If there are known gaps in your team’s talents, or an employee has recently left a role, then investing in development can fill the gap. In many cases, this can be more successful and cost-effectively than employing new talents with existing qualifications.

With so much ongoing uncertainty around the pandemic, employees crave a sense of security. They need to feel safe and secure in their jobs, and investing in development can provide that security for employees. More secure employees are more productive, and retention rates improve as a result.

Development can build employee engagement too. Equipped with the knowledge and skills to make better business decisions, upskilled staff will perform better in their daily roles. Fully engaged employees are likely to perform better and achieve better results.

Further perks of prioritising employee development in 2022 include; having a competitive edge when recruiting and attracting new talent, having a direct positive impact on retention, and a knock-on effect of improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

As we move into 2022, putting plans in place for a programme of development that is not just for Q1, but a continual process will pay off endlessly. Workplaces which offer comprehensive development are sure to look favourable to potential new employees as well as to existing employees. No one wants to feel they are in a dead-end job. They want to be in a role where progression and ambition are valued and encouraged. Together, companies and their teams must align to advance and evolve through development.