Three Qualities in a Great Employee Development Program

Strategic planning

You know what they say. A company’s greatest asset is the employees that keep it running. And the opposite is true; the employees in a company are their biggest weakness. No matter how pristine your facility is or how advanced your technology is, and how great your product is, if you don’t have employees who are loyal and have good work ethic, your business will eventually drive itself into the ground.

This is why, no matter the size of your business, employee development programs are so important. A good employee development program helps you build an employee base that really is your greatest asset. Through soft skills training courses, sales training, and leadership development, your employee development program gives you an asset that drives your company to success.

Sometimes business owners don’t see the value in spending money and manpower hours on employee development programs. It’s true, there are employee development programs that are just fluff that waste money and time. How does silly trust exercises and personality tests really make your staff better employees? If this is all your employee development program offers, then you’re using the wrong program. To help you find a employee development program that gives you exponential value for your investment, we’ve put together a guide of qualities that a employee development program includes:

Three Qualities in a Great Employee Development Program

  1. A good employee development program offers strategic planning.

    Investing in an employee development program isn’t worth the time and money if the program just throws a bunch of buzzwords at your staff, without helping you create a road map for building a strong employee base. A good employee strategic plan involves three areas of focus:

    1. Improving the soft skills and the moral of the people who represent your business. If your staff has poor moral it translates into negative attitudes towards their jobs, which hurts their efficiency and the perception that your customers have towards your company. You business operations won’t work efficiently until you fix the people problem of your company.
    2. Creating strong performance. Now that you’ve improved the attitude of your staff and gained loyalty from the good workers, it’s time to focus in improving their performance. This involves setting goals and creating a plan to reach them.
    3. Growing profit. A strong employee development program isn’t about sitting around a campfire and singing kumbaya. Improving the staff and their performance should ultimately roll down to improved profits. You want to see this strategy from your employee development program.

    These three points are inter-dependent. The first point must be tackled before the second, and then the third. Look for a employee development program that takes a similar approach to their strategy, and helps you create a road map using this framework.

  2. Your employee development program should address the things that you don’t want to talk about.
    Team-building training isn’t just about having some feel-good exercises. In order to be effective, you need to tackle the tough subjects also. Some of the issues that are crippling your business are the most painful to talk about. You have employee disputes that make it difficult for them to be productive. You have mistrust between leadership and staff. You have bottlenecks in your processes, and no one wants to address it because it suggests that you’re doing something wrong and assigns blame.

    Although it’s hard to bring up problems and hash them out, this is a critical step in creating a healthy workforce and smooth operations. You should look for a employee development program that makes identifying problems, in a constructive manner. You’ll never fix the problems that are plaguing your success if you don’t talk about them.

  3. Your employee development program should work itself out of a job.

    If your employee development program is worth the investment, it needs to teach you and your leadership how to operate without an employee development program. You should look for a program that involves developing communication skills, problem-solving skills, and strategic planning in its core program. After going through your employee development program, your staff should be prepared to carry out the principals in their daily interactions, not just while they are getting the training itself.

Do you have any other tips? Please share in the comment section below.

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