Why Employee Development is a Priority During a Crisis

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Employee development is the improvement and elevation of existing skills in employees. It is a joint initiative between employers and employees because both must get involved to make it successful. The BrighterMonday Best 100 Companies to Work for in Kenya report revealed that employee development is one of the important factors employees consider when looking for an employer. 

While business has slowed down right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you might be wondering what to do right now as an employer or a HR professional. Here is a suggestion, become better as a business during hibernation so that when things become better you will hit the ground running. This will give you the competitive edge yo will need when everything is back to a new normal. Here are five benefits of employee development during this crisis. 

You will Attract and Retain Good Talent

employee development

Hiring and retaining great talent is a big challenge to most employers and HR professionals. With the current pandemic, it has become even more difficult. Individuals with great talent understand their value and they take their professional development seriously. This means that they will interview your development plans for them as you interview their suitability for your company. They will want to know that they will grow either laterally or vertically once you engage them. 

Having a robust employee development program right now in place will foster employee loyalty. Employees are human and they have a need to feel valued and important, especially during a crisis. Even while working from home to keep your company afloat, they need to keep their development and careers afloat too. Employee development is an excellent way of showing them how much you value them and  whose impact translates to employee retention. 

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It Will Improve Your Company Brand

The best companies are those that value their employees. During a crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic, great companies are involved with the growth, wellness and safety of their staff. This will be a critical determinant in future best companies to work for surveys. Providing employee development opportunities will create loyal employees who are happy ambassadors to your customers and other prospective employees. You know too well that your company’s perception in the market will ultimately impact on your business. Being perceived as a good employer who cares for your employees is great for you. 

It Will Keep Your Employee Engaged

employee development

Working from home during the Covid-19 crisis comes with it’s challenges. One way to keep employees engaged is having programs in place that cater for their personal development.  The dream of every employer is to have engaged employees hitting targets and pushing the business forward everyday. While this is ideal, it is not always the case. Sometimes employees become bored and begin showing negative habits like sloppiness or coming to work late, missing deadlines etc. 

The best way to keep employees in check is via employee development programs. Through training and development, employees will be engaged all the time and will keep bad habits at bay. Training sessions and development events keep employees always looking forward and plugged in. 

It Will Help You Create More Agile Employees

It is now very clear that the world of work has changed. You need to ensure that your employees are ready to take your business to the next level when normalcy resumes. A solid employee development program will help you create a pool of experienced employees bringing their A-game in their various departments and capacities. This also means that you are creating employees ready to take on new challenges in your industry.

Employee development trains your current employees and positions them for future promotion. Hiring staff from within your company is very good for you. This is because they are familiar with your business operations, already have a heart for your vision and mission and they understand your clients very well. It will save you recruitment and on boarding time and foster loyalty among your current team members.

It Will Force You to Strategize for a New Future

employee development

Employee development is dynamic and time-bound. With the current economic situation, hot skills today might be obsolete tomorrow, hence the need for strategy. This means that as a HR professional and talent manager, you should have your ear on the ground and an eye for the future. Strive to look beyond the current needs and plan for both good and bad outcomes. Stay abreast with trends and changes in your industry and market and ensure you have all foreseeable issues covered. Succession planning should be an integral part of your employee development program

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Doreen Mueke
Doreen is the Senior Content Marketer at Ringier One Africa Media.