When it comes to your workforce, there is nothing worse than stagnation. What works today is rarely effective for long. When your employees remain in the same jobs performing the same tasks for too long, their work experience can become stale and their performance tends to suffer accordingly. When employees begin to stagnate, they may pay less attention to their tasks. They may even leave the company altogether in search of new opportunities.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that employees should be promoted or moved to new positions just to shake things up. Instead, the focus of your company’s employee development programs should be to help your employees acquire and refine new skills that will allow them to take on new responsibilities, so they can grow into new roles within the company.

This is especially important in the current era of workforce realignment. According to Deloitte, only 42% of organizations are staffed mostly by full-time workers. The rest are made up of a combination of part-time, temporary, and crowdsourced employees, which means that the competition for full-time positions is greater than ever. By supporting your employees as they seek to continue upskilling and reskilling themselves, you ensure that you will retain the drivers of your workforce.

How to Enhance Employee Training

Making your company’s employee development program as effective as possible is not a simple, one-step process that can be accomplished overnight. Making training truly effective involves a multipronged effort to determine what areas need the most attention while ensuring that your employees are fully engaged in the development process. With the right approach, your employee development efforts can provide big returns in productivity.

To make this process work, you need managers who are fully committed to helping their employees grow into new roles, even if this may involve losing them to other departments or managers. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Monique Valcour shares that employee development is a core component of a manager’s job. Good managers maximize the production from their employees — bad managers are a drain on the company’s resources.

One way to make employee training more effective is to make sure that the employees have a voice in their own development. Roy Maurer suggests that companies develop career paths for employees, helping workers chart the ways that they can pursue new roles within the company through performance, evaluation, and skill enhancement.

One powerful tool for this kind of individual engagement is eSkill’s employee development platform, which uses skills testing to help identify employee strengths and weaknesses. These Skill Assessment Tests provide employers with a quantified picture of the employee’s skill set, which can identify any knowledge gaps and particular strengths that an employee may possess.

While identifying skills gaps is a benefit, eSkill’s platform also isolates skills that can be improved upon, especially when a higher skill level is required for a new role. For example, if an employee tests as moderately skilled in a particular category, but their ideal new role requires a higher level of expertise, Skill Tests can help employees to guide their training to increase their expertise. They can measure their progress against the many customizable tests in eSkill’s library.

The Value of Employee Development

Investing in professional development for employees is becoming more common among major companies. It has been shown over and over that retaining employees is much less expensive than dealing with continual turnover, which requires an almost never-ending search for new talent — and which can drain a company’s resources. Opportunities for personal development are the most frequently cited reasons that employees choose to remain with their employers.

Saving money on your bottom line is good, of course, but providing regular training opportunities for your employees can also increase productivity. When employees have the chance to grow in their position, they not only become more capable in their current tasks, but they also enjoy the flexibility of moving into new positions or taking on new responsibilities as the situation dictates.

Even more important, though, is employee satisfaction. When you make employee development a priority in your organization, your workforce remains more engaged in their work. The potential for advancement within the company is a powerful motivator. When employees see there are opportunities to take on new responsibilities, they are less likely to look elsewhere.

This is especially true when employees are given a voice in their personal development. When an employee is paired up with a good manager who will listen to their goals and help implement a path to achieving these goals, the employees are more likely to remain with the company long term.

Interested in Using Skills Tests to Help Your Employees Grow into New Roles?

Learn how you can incorporate eSkill’s Skills Tests into your employee training and development efforts. Request a demo today.

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