Employee growth and development training is an all-inclusive deal. Not in the all-you-can-eat sense, but in the all-hands-on-deck sense. For it to be truly successful, everyone has to be supportive of its efforts, from the C suite to entry-level employees. And it makes sense when you think about it, as it’s a win-win: when employees gain skills and grow within their company, business is more productive and lucrative.
What Is Employee Growth and Development Training?
Employee growth and development training is a long-ish phrase, so let’s call it EGDT. Many of the programs related to employee growth are actually part of the learning and development universe. However, EGDT also includes concepts that are specific to growth, such as:
- Advancement – making sure employees benefit from internal mobility
- Morale – using motivational tools such as work-life balance programs, feedback, and rewards
Perhaps a useful way of understanding EGDT is that it is like a sphere, with development as the core.
Why Employee Growth and Development Training Is Different
Just as EGDT is more than just development, so the effort behind it requires more participation from management and employees than usual. During a typical L&D program, managers get involved in:
- Defining the skills and experiences that an employee could benefit from
- Facilitating the program through scheduling, finding temporary replacements, etc.
- Taking part in the measurement process
But with EGDT, another layer of responsibility is added. Take morale, for example. One component of morale is the presence of DEI initiatives. In fact, DEI is a factor that inspires Millennials to remain at their current job more than twice the time compared to those at workplaces with poor diversity.
However, not every employee – those from majority communities, for example – directly benefits from DEI. So why do they stay longer? It’s because diversity creates a positive environment for everyone.
This point illustrates that managers need to go beyond taking part in only the nuts and bolts of development. Instead, they must work towards creating a certain environment where growth is encouraged.
Preparing the Organization for Employee Growth and Development Training
Effective EGDT means that everyone needs to work a bit harder (which Jeff Bezos doesn’t see as a real problem). Here are a few of the areas where HR must be active in getting ready:
The C-suite will need to provide both funding and permission for EGDT. Warning: some aspects of the program, like advancement, might be a hard sell. But you can remind the bosses of what happens due to a lack of growth initiatives, like the fact that 65% of employed job seekers are looking for better opportunities.
Managers are more likely to be enthusiastic about EGDT if they get a memo saying the bosses are on board. But managers might be even more helpful if they also receive some form of recognition, or maybe take part in the EGDT themselves.
As the focus of EGDT, employees should definitely have a say in where they want the growth program to take them. In addition, their part of the bargain should be made clear. However, if you have done your homework in getting ready for the initiative, this information should already be part of the employee’s individual career plan.
Measurement is critical to EGDT, just as any business practice. Make sure to have your goals, targets, and assessment tools ready before the program begins.
Relation to Performance Management
This all translates into a serious commitment of time and resources, and hopefully, real progress. And it could lead to great results on a Job Descriptive Index to measure job satisfaction. But it’s a good idea to also include growth-related figures in your organization’s performance management process. In this way, employee participation and success after EGDT will become part of the official record.
What to Look Out For
The big picture of EGDT should be laid out in the employee growth strategy. Still, paying attention to certain classic sticking points should also be on your to-do list, such as:
Organizational Barriers. HR will need to frequently check that managers are making time for their part in EGDT and that L&D practitioners are working to standard. On a larger scale, programs should be adjusted according to changing business strategies – remember that only 40% of companies coordinate learning strategy with business goals.
Generational Differences. Younger people want new ways of learning compared to Baby Boomers and Gen X employees. But there are various methods of creating L&D programs that fit the bill for everyone.
Financial Challenges. During a time of economic uncertainty, it might be tempting for the head office to cut growth programs. It’s difficult to say this, but they are often right because most L&D practices don’t produce results. HR needs to pre-empt such moves by investing in technologies that turn failure stats around. As an example, some L&D platforms get a thumbs-up from 90% of direct managers.
Recruit GrowthSpace as Your Growth and Development Secret
Let’s see, you’ve got executives, managers, and employees onboard. What’s missing? Oh right, an effective L&D technology to put it all together.
GrowthSpace is the world’s leading platform to enable seamless, efficient, and productive learning and development at scale. With GrowthSpace, HR professionals can coordinate vital aspects of a growth strategy, including matching development experts to employees and enabling a consistent, intuitive assessment method across all programs. If you want workers to grow, put GrowthSpace to work.