We all want the best people possible working for us. We spend hours and money looking for the right people to fill the job. When we find our perfect candidate, they’re hired! The problem? We usually don’t spend the same amount of time and resources developing the people we hire. The best leaders are those who develop more than just the business, but the people inside it. Here are a few ways you can start developing your employees.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Money doesn’t buy you everything, but it does usually indicate where our priorities lie. Spending a little extra money on employee development initiatives will be an indication to your company that you value the individual beyond the work they produce. Plus, spending resources will force you to be intentional about the opportunities that you offer to your workers.
Allocating a budget for employee development can take many forms. Funds that employees can use flexibly, like an educational subscription service or a gym membership, will encourage people to work on bettering themselves even outside of the office. Offering scholarships for higher education or taking departments to conferences or retreats will incentivize others to be the best they can be. All it takes on your part is the willingness to spend the money necessary to do it.
Allow Your Employees to Be Challenged
Shielding your employees from hard decisions or failure isn’t kind… it’s selfish. There’s a reason one of the most popular interview questions asks about how you overcame challenges. Challenges are how we learn and grow at work, and never trusting your employees with new and difficult tasks is holding both them and you back.
Talk to your team members about their goals, hopes, and worries. Discuss what in their job they’re unsatisfied with and what they’d like to see change. Work together and see what new things you could try out or new opportunities you could offer. Challenging people this way will not only help them grow, but it’ll also help your business evolve, as well.
Be As Transparent As Possible
Transparency is a buzzword in the business world that’s normally interpreted as “tell everyone everything,” but to really develop your employees, this isn’t enough. Even if you don’t hide most information from lower-level employees, you should give everyone an opportunity to share their thoughts, even if it’s outside their usual realm of responsibility.
True transparency is knowing when it’s appropriate to share information and then allowing space for others to enter the conversation. Doing this to the greatest extent possible will show that you trust your workers and value their opinions, allowing them more chances to learn within the workplace.
In short, the most effective way to encourage employee development is to show your employees that you care about them beyond what they can produce. When you genuinely have an interest in your employees, you will find that encouraging their development comes naturally.