Why Employee Development Matters and How It Can Help Your Company


There is a belief that the success of a company lies greatly on the people that work there. Business leaders such as Richard Branson and companies like VMware, Pixar, Airbnb, Etsy, and more, strongly believe in learning and the importance of developing their employees to their full potential. But what is it, and why is it important?

What is Human Resource Development?

Human Resource Development is a framework or a system of helping employees develop both their personal and organizational skills as well as reach their career goals. It stems from the idea that developing your employees helps with retention and enables them to be more productive, engaged, and motivated.

The aim is that through constant development, you build a strong, high-performing workforce that can then accomplish the goals and targets of the company.

There are multiple ways you can tackle Human Resource Development both inside and outside of the workplace, such as employee training, performance management, seminars, coaching/mentoring, career planning, tuition assistance, and more. Which specific direction you choose will depend on multiple factors such as budget, schedule availability, or the specific needs of each employee.

Why is it important?

Training your employees to become future managers, leaders, or even just to perform better can help improve their ability to contribute to the organization. Think of it this way: well-trained employees will represent your company to the best of their ability, will speak knowingly about the industry, and will help establish processes that can help the business run more smoothly.

Having well-trained employees means that no matter who they interact with (customer, client, partner, investor) will have a better experience compared to employees that receive no training.

But even more important than that, offering training, coaching, mentoring, and developing your employees let them know that you care about their happiness at work. It shows your dedication to teaching your employees how to master their different roles and it shows your desire for them to succeed.

Who wouldn’t want to work for a company that supports your goals and needs, right?

Where do you start?

It’s one thing to KNOW you need to train your employees, but it’s another thing to actually get it done. Luckily, there are many ways you can go about training as there is no one-shoe-fits-all solution.

1. Start with your leaders.
If you’re not sure where to start, start with your leaders and get them involved. “Leaders” do not necessarily only mean your Managers or Chief Executives. A leader can be anyone with a strong desire to see the organization succeed.

While managers will be needed to teach younger/entry-level employees specific skills that the role may require, a lot can be learned from someone with an innate ability to be a leader. Things like teamwork, service, dedication - all are important and need to be developed as much as technical skills.

2. Encourage self-study
While the term “homework” may be pushing it a bit too far (and might make your employees feel like they’re back in school), encouraging self-study sessions can go a long way. Something as simple as giving your employees a reading list related to their role, sharing articles from online, or sending video tutorials can help supplement the growth and development of their skills during their extra time.

3. Consider outside training
Another option you can take is taking the training and learning outside. There are a lot of events and seminars (both free and paid) that you can send your employees too. Happy Hour for HR, for example, is a monthly discussion about multiple topics in Human Resources. Past topics have been about talent development, happiness in the workplace, increasing employee engagement and retention, and more.

Happy Hour for HR is hosted by HR Nation and Salarium, together with FutureNow Ventures, CloudSwyft, and Recruitday.com. It happens every first Thursday of the month at the Barhead Solutions headquarters (5th Floor, Paseo Center, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City). You can follow Recruitday.com's Facebook Page for updates about each Happy Hour event happening.

QBO Innovation Hub also hosts many training sessions specifically targeted for start-ups to help get employees versed in the world of startup and how to make the business grow and succeed. You can also opt for formal sessions like classes over at the Asian Institute of Management or other learning institutions that offer short courses and seminars that sometimes even have certifications upon completion.

4. Identify the struggles and address them
Truly, all your efforts will be for nothing if your development framework does not help solve some kind of issue or problem you have in the organization. You need to identify the struggles and address them. Is the problem a lack of technical skills in a certain department? Or maybe problems come from improper communication and lack of teamwork? Maybe the struggle may even be in something more personal like fitness and well-being in the office.

As much as possible, each specific problem or issue needs a specific solution. If you can identify exactly where you need help, you’re already one step in the right direction.

5. Set learning goals and review them
The way to make sure your learning sessions are on-track is to set learning goals. Once you know what areas your employees need training in, set a specific goal. Is it to get it done during a certain timeframe, or acquiring a new skill, or maybe receiving a certification.

What’s important is that you make sure your leaders hold their team accountable for learning and growth, whether it's through self-study, internal sessions, or through external seminars. This will eventually set the standard that your company values training.

During your reviews, allow discussions where everyone can share what they’ve learned, their progress, or any other issues they may have. But be sure to empower your leaders to facilitate discussions like this, to further enhance their own leadership skills as well.

No company should be excepted from training their employees - whether big, small, or startup. There are always ways to train and develop your employees. Even the simplest sessions can reap the biggest rewards in the long run. So start your training session today!