Offer Your Employees Growth Opportunities

For those of us in the hardwood lumber industry we know high-performing employees generally aren’t the type of individuals who are content to stay with their current position forever. Talented, productive employees who bring valuable skills and experience to their position are also likely to want professional growth. We see that all across the organization from foresters and sawyers to lumber traders and accountants.

For us, we try to adhere to our stated goal “to value and grow people.” This means empowering our employees, regardless of their position, to actively participate in their own personal and professional growth. We find that when an employee is actively pursuing personal growth they can also be more motivated and productive!

If you are also interested in helping your employees grow within your organization, these  strategies might be of interest to you.

Offer relevant training programs. Many employees are hungry to learn but lack opportunities to gain specialized knowledge. Businesses can fill in that vacuum with relevant learning and development programs, aimed at developing new skills and fostering expanded knowledge within the organization.

Personalize and customize training plans. We all know people acquire knowledge at different paces, and under differing conditions. Providing customized training increases the odds that these opportunities will pay off—for employer and employees alike.

“One employee may be energized by a live speaker at an industry conference, while another may prefer a digital course where they can pause the presentation and take notes,” says WorkRamp. In many cases, the most effective approach means offering “various development opportunities to support their career growth in a way that makes sense.”

Communicate open opportunities. When you have an open position communicate the opening with your employees and clearly articulate the skills needed to be successful. Publicize job openings internally before posting notifications online and encourage employees to apply.

You might find that sometimes job postings highlight skills that an employee doesn’t have.  This might dissuade people from applying, even if they could be a fit. But as noted by MIT Management, these postings “should provide clarity on how to bridge any skill gaps.” When you do, it could turn into an excellent employee career development opportunity and growth plan.

Focus on engagement. Some employees respond more favorable to learning and development programs when they are actively engaged in the process. “Learning should be enjoyable and something that employees look forward to,” notes LinkedIn. You can achieve this “by using a variety of learning methods such as collaborative, hands-on, visual, and tactile learning.” Also look at social learning in the form of “group learning sessions, online forums, lunch and learns” and other social activities.

A company can stand to gain a great deal by emphasizing employee growth. An employee who sees career training and growth options within the organization is less likely to look elsewhere for employment. And businesses who successfully develop employees with new skills can realize increased reliability and improved workplace culture. You could also be developing a strong list of potential future leaders for the organization.

Tony C.
The Baillie Group
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