Understanding the Value of Development to Your Workforce

Employee development programs increase employee engagement now and will provide long-term value for your organization.

Meeting the staffing challenges of the future is paramount for any organization. In the current business environment, we’ve heard a lot about unemployment and jobs not being available, but as the economy continues to recover, the next challenge for companies is going to be the widening talent gap and changing workforce demographics before a possible war for talent begins.

Stacey Harris wrote a blog about the skilled labor gap this fall, which you can read at http://brandon-hall.com/blogs/talent/?p=102 But how should your company today look at employee career development to make sure you can attract and retain employees to meet your talent needs?

Organizations face something we’ve labeled an “engagement gap.” Only 21 percent of our sample is engaged. Worse yet, fully 38 percent are either wholly or partly disengaged, according to a recent Towers Perrin survey.

Why is employee engagement important? How does this engagement provide value for your organization?

For employees, the top two factors to improving job satisfaction are career development opportunities and training, and “more opportunities to do what I do best.” How do companies provide those career development opportunities and allow them to excel?

Employees believe that greater resources, development and training opportunities, specific feedback, and clarity around organizational needs and goals would increase job satisfaction, according to Blessing White’s 2011 Employee Engagement Report. Note that “getting a promotion” or “getting a raise” were not factors mentioned by these employees. Although money is important, companies can do a number of things to develop employees.

In an analysis of the 280-plus entrants for the 2011 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards, more than 30 percent of the entrants mentioned increased engagement or voice of the employee survey results as key measurements by which to judge the success of their development programs.

Successful programs provide value by promoting:

  • Relationship and Confidence
  • Competence and Competency
  • Connections Building

When your organization focuses on your employees and their development, this engagement translates into real gains for both your company and your employees. These programs increase employee engagement now and will provide long-term value for the organization. To read a case study on engagement, visit http://go.brandonhall.com/Hudsons_Bay_casestudy_TM

With more than 10,000 clients globally and 20 years of delivering research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is an established research organization in the performance improvement industry. Brandon Hall Group has an extensive repository of thought leadership research and expertise in its primary research portfolios—Learning and Development, Talent Management, Sales Effectiveness, Marketing Impact, and Executive Management. At the core of its offerings is a Membership Program that combines research, benchmarking, and unlimited access to data and analysts. Members have access to research and connections that help them make the right decisions about people, processes, and systems, coalesced with analyst advisory services tailored to help put the research into daily action. For more information, visit http://go.brandonhall.com/home and http://go.brandonhall.com/membership_TM

Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.