A human resources manager discussing a company employee development program.

Employee Development Programs: Why They're Essential for Employee Retention

Tapcheck Team   July 08, 2022

What are Employee Development Programs (EDPs)?

An employee development program is a strategic tool that businesses use to facilitate continued growth for their companies and workers. These programs allow employees to gain relevant experience and perfect their skills over time, making themselves more valuable to the organization. Although development may sound similar to an employee training program, these two programs typically have different outcomes and goals. While training teaches employees new skills to help them perform a specific job, development programs are designed to enhance the overall growth of an employee during their tenure. 

If you’re considering adding an employee development program to your company’s list of benefits, knowing the tangible outcomes you can expect from implementing such a program is helpful. This article will discuss why employee development is important and how to implement a program effectively. We’ll also cover some examples of employee development programs and suggest a few goals to keep in mind when establishing these programs. 

Why Employee Development Is Important

The numbers don’t lie. Most employees — especially younger ones — want to work for an employer that offers learning and career advancement opportunities. According to a study by PayScale, 72% of younger workers say that programs that help them build new skills and advance their careers are valuable to them. With a statistic like this, it’s easy to see why implementing development programs can help employers stay competitive as they work to attract top talent and reduce employee turnover. 

Of course, recruiting and retention aren’t the only benefits of employee development. These programs can also generate a positive impact on company culture by fostering an environment of learning and aligning individual development with the needs of the business. This alignment gives coworkers a common goal to focus on as they build their skills. Additionally, the proper implementation of an employee development program can also increase worker productivity by helping them learn new skills that increase their confidence and complement the business.

How to Implement an EDP

Starting a successful employee development program requires a few simple but essential steps:

Clearly Communicate Program Goals

It will be difficult for your organization to fully participate in an employee development program if they don’t understand the program’s goals. Make sure employees and upper management receive clear communication about these goals, and be prepared to answer any questions they may have. 

Understand Employee Values and Goals

Ultimately, if a development program is meant to encourage well-rounded employees, it is critical to understand the values and goals that motivate them. Ask them what’s most important to them — then take note. Knowing this information and integrating their input into the program selections will boost participation and spark enthusiasm about the program. 

Involve Upper Management

By including upper management in the early stages of your employee development program, you are setting a strong foundation of support that will help ensure the program’s long-term success. Ask your managers what their goals are for their team members and what they would like to see in terms of program outcomes. Then, be sure to keep them updated about progress and results.

Relate to Performance Management

To know whether your program is working as it should, you’ll need a reliable way to gauge its impact within your organization. Measuring the success of employee development programs through performance management is an excellent way to determine its effectiveness, make changes where needed, and establish credibility for the program as a whole. 

Build Your Team With These EDPs

There are several ways to integrate employee development into your organization. Below are several examples of programs that many companies offer to their workers:

Financial Wellness Coaching

By providing financial wellness resources to your employees, you can empower them to make smarter financial decisions in their personal lives which helps them be more productive at work. When looking at which resources to invest in for your employees, consider adding Tapcheck’s financial wellness program to your organization’s benefits. In addition to the financial flexibility of earned wage access, Tapcheck also offers an extensive online library of free financial wellness resources that your employees can use to educate themselves about everything from building credit to the importance of having an emergency fund. 

Career Mentoring

Seasoned employees possess a wealth of valuable knowledge. By creating a mentoring program, younger employees can learn what team veterans know, which ensures that best practices don’t phase out when older employees retire from the company.  

Development Workshops

Workshops can be an effective way to help your employees develop a wide range of skills. Whether they cover leadership, marketing, management, team building, or specific skills, specialized workshops can be tailored to help individuals expand their expertise and increase their value to the company. 

Onboarding Programs

When you hire a new employee, a structured onboarding process can help them feel like an effective member of the team faster. Pairing new employees with the right people in your organization can shorten their learning curve.

Accomplish Your Employee Development Goals

Establishing goals based on feedback from the organization’s employees and upper management can assist you in creating tangible, measurable goals for your employee development program. You can keep track of these goals by going through a regular review process and interviewing stakeholders in the program to make sure that goals are being met. By following a systematic approach, you can maximize your program’s effectiveness and ensure it benefits everyone involved. 

A strategic employee development program can be an incredible asset that helps your organization recruit and retain top talent in a competitive labor market. By taking the time to implement a development program — or multiple programs, if your budget allows — you can set your company apart from your competition and attract the best employees in your industry. 

Tapcheck Team

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