If you’ve been in business for a while, you know that the people who work for you can make or break your business. When they take ownership of their roles and responsibilities, they are your biggest allies in the growth of your business. But when you are stuck in a cycle of hiring, training and then losing employees, they can be the largest drain on your time and bottom line. Here’s why investing in the professional development of both you and your team is so important.
The cost of hiring and training new employees is much higher than working to keep the employees you already have. Just like customers.
Retained talent and institutional knowledge
Hitting a professional wall, or “outgrowing” a position is often what drives people to change jobs or move. To retain talent, you need to find a way to help them grow professionally within your business.
Improved customer service and sales
Customers can spot the difference between employees who love their work, and employees who show up for their pay cheque. This influences purchase decisions and conversion rates. Happy employees translate to happy customers which results in a healthy bottom line.
Increased morale, performance and motivation
Knowledgeable, happy employees who are well treated by their employer perform at a dramatically higher level. These employees know that their employer has confidence in their abilities, and is invested in their success. In return, they often go beyond the call of duty to make the sale and get the job done.
So how do we retain talent in our business?
You start by putting them through a comprehensive training programme. Then you continue to foster their professional development and give them a reason to stay.
Your professional development programme doesn’t have to be particularly formal. You simply need to offer a range of options that will support the growth of your business and the goals of your employees.
Some companies give each team member a budget for professional development expenses that the company will pay for. Others require a percentage of time to be dedicated to learning or product knowledge. You could also schedule a monthly “lunch and learn” session on various topics or products.
A professional development programme could include:
- Presentations by product or service vendors to improve product knowledge
- Training on new equipment or technology
- Courses at continuing learning institutions relevant to the employee’s role
- In-house or industry mentorship programmes
- Cross-training to learn additional responsibilities or cover others’ roles
- Leadership skills
- Personal mastery skills such as time management, developing your EQ, etc
- And of course, individual or group coaching
Invest time in your team’s training and development, and you’ll be investing in the growth of your business.
Look out for next week’s blog, where we will outline a special offer to companies who want to invest in the professional development of their talent.
Until then… have a great weekend.