What drives a business? The product and mission are certainly important, but it’s employees who make the wheels turn. That’s why, in a world where companies compete fiercely to attract and retain top talent, understanding what employees want from their employer is incredibly crucial.
Do you know what your employees want? If they’re like most, then they want to learn.
Millennials (the largest working generation today, according to Pew Research), believe a good career provides strong development opportunities. This generation has a reputation for being job hoppers, but that habit typically stems from ambition rather than laziness. Millennials go where the opportunities are.
Yet there don’t seem to be many opportunities out there. According to Gallup, only 39 percent of this generation would strongly agree with the statement “I learned something new in the past 30 days.”
Clearly, companies need to kick-start their employee development programs. However, they also must recognize that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to education. Forcing every staff member to go through the same type of training won’t have the intended effect. Forget different learning styles – similar training doesn’t recognize employees as individuals, which is another thing they crave.
In order for businesses to keep their employees satisfied and retain top talent, they need to create personalized development programs that allow each individual to succeed in the ways he or she wants. Here are three quick tips to support such a goal:
1. Hold frequent one-on-one sessions
If you really want to understand the dream career path of a particular employee, there’s nothing like a face-to-face check-in. Human resources teams across the nation are realizing the importance of continuous performance management: an employee development style that emphasizes frequent feedback and goal setting. CPM keeps you abreast of what your employees want, allowing you to create development courses tailored to their desires.
2. Encourage self-assessment
Your employees already have an idea of what they want out of their jobs, but a deeper analysis can always reveal something new. During your one-on-one sessions, have them review their past accomplishments and struggles, then determine what they’d like to learn or improve upon.
Entrepreneur noted that while it’s good to discuss an employee’s less successful efforts during these discussions, the primary topic should be the person’s achievements. This puts people in a positive mindset, helping them think of what they want for the future. This way, you can collaborate with that individual as well as any other managers to identify the best development program for that person.
3. Provide proof of their accomplishments
Even if you put in all this effort, there’s still the risk that your employees might see your development efforts as an empty gesture. You need to prove that this strategy is truly for their benefit. One of the most surefire ways of accomplishing this goal is by providing customized digital credentials for any courses that you create. These credentials act as proof of your employees’ accomplishments, representing their newfound skill sets to themselves and their peers.
And with a credentialing service like Parchment, your employees can share their proof on their social media profiles. For professionals, this means Facebook and LinkedIn, which can be great for their careers.
Turning education into satisfaction
Even though your business is staffed by employees, it’s best to think of these individuals as lifelong learners. That way, you can provide the development tools they need and keep them engaged at their jobs.
Parchment wants to help you unleash your learners’ potential.