How leaders can actively support employee development

Every employee starts with certain skills that help them do their job, as well as the expectation that they will pick up other necessary skills along the way. These skills can be learned at your own pace or learned from a mentor. however, for an employee to truly progress and move up to the next level, they must have management support.

To give some advice on how to do this, 11 Newsweek Expert Forum members share the essential steps to creating a workplace that actively supports the personal and professional development of its employees.

1. Start at the beginning

It starts on day one with the interview process. Asking questions that assess a potential employee’s ability to self-regulate, set boundaries, and stay curious will underscore the important role these skills have in the company culture. These types of questions and assessments will also provide a baseline that managers can refer to to support employee growth and development. – Lea Marone, Corporate wellness consultant

2. Share objectives between departments

Communicate and share your teams’ professional development goals to identify day-to-day opportunities to put that development into practice. It’s one thing to have development plans in place and send employees on training, but it’s another thing to have larger teams aware of what they’re pursuing and empowering them to develop. their newly acquired skills in a safe and supportive environment. – Ross Saunders, Bamboo Data Consulting

3. Review current processes in place

Examine your processes to determine if your development opportunities are clearly communicated, easily accessible, and fairly distributed. Check in with your employees regularly to make sure what you’re offering meets their needs. The goal is to grow and evolve together, and that starts with recognition and respect. – Stephen Bailey, ExecOnline

4. Make a plan

You need to come up with a plan that makes sense, looks like it will work, is realistically achievable, and has a timeline. Whatever you come up with, it should inspire all of your employees to say, “This doesn’t sound like just lip service. I think management and management are actually committed to this.” – Marc Goulston, Mark Goulston, MD, Inc.

5. Put growth and development first

From the top down, create an environment that puts personal growth and development at the forefront of employee communications and training, which will impact career achievements and productivity with a strong return on investment. This can be done very inexpensively using free resources on the web. – Lisa Lundy, Lisa A Lundy

6. Create development budgets

Allocate annual departmental learning and development budgets. Communicate the per capita allowance to employees, then create a menu of company-sponsored development opportunities. For example, personal wellness programs might include a course on nutrition or elder care, while a professional development opportunity might be a presentation or workshop on negotiation. – Sabina Pons, Growth molecules

7. Offer regular feedback

Give the gift of feedback! It is essential for an organization to encourage regular feedback outside of scheduled annual or mid-term reviews. Feedback should be timely and equally two-way, as this will help the employee learn and respond to constructive feedback throughout the year. Organizations that encourage two-way feedback will have a higher level of employee engagement and satisfaction. – Nita Kohli, Kohli Advisors

8. Be proactive

Listen, pay attention and learn from your employees. They are at the heart of the business, and listening and acting quickly on issues helps develop not only your business, but also great employees. – Tammy Son, Nursery

9. Listen

Listen to employee concerns, criticisms and suggestions and be prepared to learn from their feedback. Ask yourself what things could be better and what you could do better. This encourages mutual respect and develops essential soft skills like communication and empathy. – Jacob Mathison, Mathison Projects Inc.

10. Invest in your employees

An essential step for any company that supports employee development is to support them by sometimes investing in courses. Sending them to seminars on how to improve their work is always helpful. It gets them out of the office, gives them a few free meals, and exposes them to new ideas. Continuing education is a great source of inspiration and motivation. – Baruch Labunski, Secure rank

11. Be a role model

Model and demonstrate to others the values ​​you want to create in your workplace. Don’t say it, but practice supportive behaviors that naturally develop others. What you demonstrate by the way you present yourself with and for others speaks louder than your words. First be what you want others to see and lead by example. If that sounds too abstract or soft, you’ll learn the hard way that you can’t throw money and programs at people. – Jay Steven Levin, WinThinking