Growing Your Workforce: Exploring Employee Development Methods and Advantages

Growing Your Workforce: Exploring Employee Development Methods and Advantages

When running a company or team, there are many different tasks that you will need to handle daily. Often, these will relate to the tasks you must complete at any given time. However, apart from completing projects, you are also responsible for ensuring that your employees are adequately prepared for potential future tasks they may be assigned.

The best way to ensure that your employees are always working at an optimum level is through employee development. Investing in your employees and their skillset can help you not only grow your company but also retain more employees and create a more positive work environment.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know to get started with employee development, including the advantages, areas of growth, and methods you can use to help your employees improve.

What is employee development?

Employee development means the improvement of skills for company employees through training and other development programs initiated and provided by the employer. As part of employee development, employees can expand their knowledge base and skillset and become better prepared to tackle various tasks required within a team.

Importance and advantages of employee development

Over the past few years, employee development has become a must for companies. Before signing on, many potential new hires will frequently inquire about the development and training options that the company provides. It is because, in today's ever-changing world, the importance of constantly improving your knowledge base and skillset has become ever more prevalent for those who want to keep up with the workforce. While there are many benefits to employee development, these are some of the most important ones:

  • Improved productivity

    Productivity often stems from employees who know their assigned tasks and possess the expertise to complete them. Training and employee development play significant roles in this process because, in training, employees acquire additional skills that facilitate faster and more efficient task completion. Consequently, overall productivity is enhanced, allowing the company to progress through tasks and projects more smoothly.

  • Improved preparedness

    For companies, one of the biggest struggles is being ready in the case of an emergency. If your employees or team have never dealt with an emergency before, they most likely will lack the necessary skillset to kick into the drive as soon as an emergency pop up. As part of employee development, you can include simulations and other training workshops to help your employees learn how to work better as a team and handle all the problems that might arise.

  • Promotion of a learning environment that can help attract new and retain existing talent

    Feeling stagnant is one of the most common complaints employees will have at the company that they work for. To avoid that, you can promote a learning environment and a culture of growth through employee development. These types of programs will also help you attract new talent, as it is far more common for new employees to choose companies in which they will have growth potential. As such, this company culture change will help you retain old talents who want to continue improving and bring in new ones.

  • Increased savings by reducing hiring and onboarding costs

    Approximately 40% of employees who quit their job do so because they are dissatisfied with their current position and the absence of growth perspectives. For a company, this can mean that they will need to go through the hiring and onboarding process to find replacements. In terms of costs, this can be a big problem as onboarding and training employees can be costly. Besides, there is always an adjustment period in which employees are not as productive as they could be. It will mean that projects and tasks will take longer to complete, potentially leading to problems for the company. This is why investing in employee development is usually a better option, as it helps improve your retention and productivity rates.

  • Promote employee growth and company development

    Keeping employee skillsets on par with the current markets will allow your company more growth opportunities. It is because your employees will already be in a position to implement innovations and new knowledge without much trouble. As a result, your company will be a more competitive presence in the market that can take on new challenges and responsibilities.

  • Increased employee engagement and motivation

    Employee development can be instrumental in keeping your employees interested in their work. People who feel stagnant are much more likely to let their minds wander or simply become unmotivated to complete further tasks. This can be easily avoided through employee development as it will give your employees new material to engage with. It will ultimately help retain more employees and keep them interested in finding new innovative ways to complete tasks better.

Employee development methods

There are many different employee development methods that you can try. The most common one is participation in lectures, seminars, and courses. While this is great for passing on the material, it is not always the most efficient for improving skillsets through hands-on experience.

Instead, for more engaged training, you can try introducing simulations, adventure training, or even job and task rotation. All of these methods have the positive of ensuring that your employees are actively engaging with the tasks at hand instead of idly sitting and listening to a course or lecture. Similarly, shadowing certain positions, or providing committee assignments can all be effective ways to ensure your employees learn more about the various positions available.

All of this training can be particularly effective if you want your employees to be able to take on other people's tasks in case of an emergency. It can also be great if you want them to learn skillsets that might not directly relate to their work and tasks but that are important for the growth of your company.

What are the areas of employee development?

While we have established that employee development is important for every company, there are so many different areas in which your employees can grow, that knowing where to focus can be a problem.

If you want your employee development program to be effective, you should first determine the exact area you would like to focus on. By pinpointing that, you will get to develop a training and development program that is directly focused on helping your employees with that area.

The key areas of employee development include:

  • Technical skills: Enhancing employees' knowledge and abilities in their specific job functions, such as software proficiency, engineering skills, or industry-specific expertise.

  • Cross-functional training: Encouraging employees to learn about different departments and roles within the organization, promoting a broader understanding of the business and fostering teamwork.

  • Flexibility: The ability of your employees to adapt well to changing circumstances.

  • Communication: Employees will develop better communication skills by listening, engaging, connecting, inspiring, and guiding others through different communication strategies. This can be particularly important in conflict management.

  • Work ethics: Development of employee professionalism through encouraging integrity, resilience, accountability, and ethical behavior, while respecting both their and their teammate's work.

  • Leadership: Leadership skills can be essential for company growth, guiding employees through tasks and projects as well as promoting a mentorship environment focused on learning.

  • Management: Teaching managers how to be effective by allowing employees to take initiative and complete tasks without micromanaging them.

  • Creativity: Promoting creativity in employees by helping them explore and take the initiative that will help the company grow.

  • Stress management: Especially during periods of intense stress, stress management can give employees the skills to manage tension and decompress so that they can perform more productively.

  • Emotional intelligence: Cultivating employees' self-awareness, empathy, and ability to manage emotions, leading to improved relationships and greater workplace harmony.

  • Work-life balance: Offering resources and training on maintaining a healthy balance between personal and professional life, reducing burnout and improving overall well-being.

While these are the most common aspects of employee development, there can also be more specific skills that you will need your employees to develop for them to perform their tasks better. Pinpointing those and establishing training that will help your employees develop those skills is an important aspect of being in a managerial position.


Employee development is an all-encompassing term that deals with various opportunities for improvement that an employer can provide an employee. There are many different areas where employee development can be crucial. These can range from flexibility, to work ethics to stress management. By providing your employees with the right tools through training, you can increase productivity, reduce costs and promote growth within your company. This is why employee development is becoming more and more common in businesses that want to remain competitive while achieving innovation in their chosen field.

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