What are companies getting wrong about employee development? originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
Employee development takes place (or rather, should take place) during every stage of an employee’s life cycle, from recruiting, hiring, and onboarding until they leave the company. Many companies look at development in an insular way rather than holistic and big-picture, and that’s one of the major things they get wrong. Development should be much more than a box you tick — it should be something you aspire to improve and customize all the time. Here’s a look at a few of the key areas people overlook or get wrong:
Recruiting and Hiring: If you want continuous employee development to be a big part of your company culture, make sure you look for “learners” when you hire — people with a desire to grow within your company and keen to take advantage of resources that your organization provides. Don’t just pay lip-service to this idea; bake it into your core values before new hires even step through the door on their first day.
Onboarding: It costs approximately $11,000 to hire someone. And, although it can take someone between 9 and 12 months in order to reach peak performance, companies lose roughly one-quarter of their new hires every year. In other words, if you onboard poorly, you’ll wind up not only paying someone a year’s salary for performing below expectation, but you’ll also manage to sink $11,000 in them. And even though employees who go through well-structured onboarding programs are 69% more likely to stay with a company up to three years, roughly 35% of companies report spending $0 on onboarding! (
Retention: This, most productive part of an employee’s time at your organization represents the biggest opportunity for learning and development. Many companies falter in this area by failing to provide smart and focused goals, positive leadership, opportunities to grow within their team, autonomy, collaborative working environments, and so much more. Not to mention, employers often focus solely on professional development without making room for the equally important aspect of personal development.
Separation: Believe it or not, the separation stage of the employee life-cycle represents a huge learning and development opportunity for both parties. As more and more millennials are entering the workforce and changing our conceptions of turnover and career fluidity, employers are challenged to not only work harder to retain talent, but also to look differently at turnover. As Richard Branson says: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” But when they do leave — and a certain number inevitably will — remember that this is part of their growth as a human being, and your growth as an employer. Celebrate team members who move on and get excited for next steps. ()
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