6 Ways to Create and Honor a Culture of Employee Development

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Jun 6, 2012

Earlier this week I attended a not so typical awards ceremony – The Apollo Awards, hosted by Helios HR and Smart CEO.

As I think the concept of the awards is of value, and the vibe of the event was energizing – particularly for being held before 8 am – here is a little free positive PR from someone who also works to help organizations develop, engage and retain employees.

The Helios Apollo Awards recognize Washington-area organizations that promote employee growth and development as an integral part of their organizational culture. Participating organizations recognize these programs are not only necessary in providing them a competitive advantage, but that they contribute to employee retention by developing strong managers and providing meaningful projects, credibility through enhanced certifications, and succession planning through promotional opportunities. Their efforts not only benefit the end client, but the individual and the community as well.

As a small business owner, and organizational development practitioner, I value the importance of positive organizational cultures. Many organizations find employee growth and development a daunting task, and are not sure where to begin in designing processes and programs that contribute to employee growth and development, and thus increase engagement and performance.

When we work with clients, we often help them with retention and engagement issues and stress the huge difference employee development can make in creating a productive, profitable and high performing organization.

The 5 Commandments of Effective Employee Development

  1. Thou shall be a visible learner.
  2. Thou shalt treat all individuals individually.
  3. Thou shalt find your own voice.
  4. Thou shalt see things as they ought to be.
  5. Thou shalt model the model.

— unknown author

According to a study by the Corporate Executive Board:

  • Employees of managers who are very effective at development can outperform their peers by up to 25 percent.
  • Organizations that focus on employee development have employees who are 40 percent more likely to stay with the organization.
  • Managers who focus on employee development have employees that are 8 percent better at responding to change than those who don’t place the same focus.

How to develop, engage, retain employees

Focusing on employee development does have a direct impact on organizational performance. A few simple things you can do to help develop, engage and retain your employees:

  • ASK your employees about their learning and development needs – and take action.
  • Reevaluate and ramp up organizational communications.
  • Implement peer learning options.
  • Diversify and customize employee training and learning opportunities.
  • Have realistic performance goals tied to growth and development.
  • Recognize, recognize, recognize!

Seeing so many businesses of various sizes and industries succeed as models in developing and engaging their employees was, well, quite inspirational. I look forward to the event next year.

My congratulations goes out to all the finalists and award winners. I thank them for partly reminding me why I do the work I do by serving as a positive example of what can be achieved by focusing on an organizations number one asset – and I’ve said this before – people!

This was originally published on the Tolero Think Tank blog.

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