Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

4 strategies for building a workforce that’s continually improving over time

training5There’s always a lot of talk circulating around the HR community about employee engagement, and with good reason. If you can drive engagement, you can also foster employee retention and productivity. You can build a workplace in which people stay in their jobs, remain focused feel engaged, and work hard. 

It’s more complex than that, though. Achieving true excellence in HR is about more than just keeping people from quitting their jobs or having unproductive days. What you want as a talent leader is to help people learn, improve and truly thrive.

Do you have a workplace where everyone is improving their skills at all times. If they are, that’s great. They’ll achieve more, they’ll build a culture of learning and growth and your company will reap the profits. If they’re not, you risk stagnation. Not only are you putting a ceiling on the success of your business, but your employees will probably feel the effects eventually. Even if they’re engaged today, that feeling might be gone tomorrow.

According to TLNT, it’s time to seize control of employee engagement by focusing on people’s growth. Eric Chester, author of “On Fire At Work: How Legendary Leaders Ignite Passion In Their People Without Burning Them Out,” believes this is vital.

“Employees worth their paycheck have the desire to get better at what they do,” Chester told the news source. “They want to acquire and develop new skills, talents, and abilities that will help them increase their value to their present employers and other prospective employers. To ignore your employees’ need for continual skills development is akin to ignoring your garden’s need for frequent watering.”

You don’t want your flowers to wilt, or for your newly planted seeds to fail. So what can you do? The following four ideas should help you build a staff that’s continually improving:

Set a “growth agenda”
If you want your employees to improve, you need to sit down with them and discuss their future. What new skills do they need to acquire? What technologies can they learn? Are there intangible elements like courage and leadership they can develop? Devise a plan that works for each individual employee.

Agree on a fair timetable
The chronology matters. People have career goals – skills they want to gain, promotions and raises they want to earn – and they want to achieve them in a timely fashion. Help your employees to reach improvement goals on time.

Individualize your teaching methods
Teaching new job skills should be a different challenge depending on who you’re working with. People have unique learning styles – some enjoy being taught via traditional lessons, while others are more hands-on. Tailor your teaching methods to the worker in question.

Celebrate everyone’s successes
When your employees reach new milestones in their development, take a moment to celebrate it. Congratulate the employee for finishing a new training course, or get them a cake for their big work anniversary. These little gestures will pay dividends later.

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