For many business owners the answer to that question may well be “we don’t – it’s just not worth it”

After all, it costs lots of money, it takes people out of work for too long and there’s no guarantee that it will improve performance….is there? So really….why bother?

At vivoHR we believe passionately in the value of developing your employees and there is plenty of research that backs up our “gut feeling” that this is a good thing to be doing.

The CIPD* cite a lack of training, development and career opportunities as major reasons for employees leaving a business, and high staff turnover can be costly.

The IES* report that the main drivers of employee engagement which directly impacts on motivation and employee performance, are feeling valued and invested in by your employer, feeling enabled to perform well and having opportunities to develop.

After extensive research, Gallup* developed a 12 question survey that assesses factors that impact on employee engagement, which they found has a strong correlation with superior job performance.The questions include reference to having opportunities to do what you do best, having your development encouraged, talking about your progress and having opportunities to learn and grow.

So if development is a good thing what does that mean in reality?
Employee development might include, but is certainly not limited to simply training in a conventional classroom style.Training as we knew it has progressed, so that the right solution for your business is cost effective, targeted to your needs and focuses on specific measurable outcomes that improve individual and business performance.

We encourage you therefore to consider:

– Induction programmes for all new starters

– On the job learning that is supported by the business but directed by the individual learning as they need to

– Self-directed learning with books, journals, trade publications, internet research and relevant business forums

– Attending conferences, presentations and trade shows

– E-learning with interactive internet and computer based training resources

– Mentoring from a colleague or a more senior member of the team

– Coaching that is targeted at individual development with focussed outcomes

– Action learning sets aimed at solving business issues and developing skills at the same time

– Training events geared to your specific business needs and using the best techniques and tools in maximising learning

A key to the success of any development is the involvement and support of the senior people within your business as they create the environment for growth, encourage development and provide opportunities for learning to be applied in the workplace. Excellent managers will be seeking positive outcomes, looking for attitude and behavioural changes and will be encouraging continuous development. Successful business will be measuring the Return on Investment of development and ensuring that it really is worth the bother

* Chartered Institute of Personnel Development July 2009 Report on Employee Turnover and Retention
* Institute of Employment Studies November 2009 Update from the CIPD
* the Gallup Q12 is a registered trademark of the The Gallup Organisation

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