We recently touched upon how supporting your employees long term goals can help improve talent retention. Here we take a deeper look into how you can do this through training and development, both internally and externally.
Allow for employees to engage in personal development by allotting 10 percent of their time to personal or professional growth. The only rules: How they spend their time must be a stretch: something out of the box that has a benefit to the business, whether it’s building a skill directly linked to their role or improving their leadership abilities.
What you can claim back as a business
As a business, it is important to understand that you can claim tax relief on staff training courses and seminars, but only when they are for business purposes only. For example, updating existing business or professional knowledge, certifications, or membership of a professional body. This also includes training costs, books, and resources. And, if training is away from the usual office, expenses can be claimed for travel and transport, food and drink, and accommodation if required.
How you can foster growth through training and development
There are a number of ways of supporting personal and professional development, both in and outside of the workplace setting. You might want to allow time off for college or training days, power hours where internal experts host knowledge transfer sessions.
Help Your Team Learn From Each Other
With some of my clients, we build communities of practice or peer learning groups where people can share their experiences and find people with similar challenges they can talk to. Another option is to support development by encouraging people to learn through cross-pollination (i.e. go see what others are doing in the same field) in other areas of the company.
Training and development can look like:
- Higher education
- Mentoring (internal and external)
Train managers to be mentors:
Completing an annual development plan is helpful, but it could become a paper exercise. Train managers to regularly explore how and why a staff member wants to develop. A helpful question is, “In the next 6 to 12 months, how can you become a better version of yourself towards your personal career goals?” Managers can facilitate their staff’s development and help open doors.
Many companies provide access to e-learning on topics including project management, software training and technical skills… While these are important and can be effective in some aspects of development, I often remind leaders that on-the-job development accounts for up to 75% of effective learning.
– Jerome Ternynck
Forbes suggested 13 ways to regularly encourage development in the workplace. These included:
- Creating development plans
- Setting aside time dedicated to development
- Setting deadlines to complete related tasks
- Help create equal opportunities for all to develop
- Check in with each other; have accountability teams
- Create a culture of learning
Ultimately, it is important to listen to what your employees want. While some may be more suited to mentorship to help them achieve their goals, others may benefit more from eLearning.
Ask Employees What They Want And Need
Regularly soliciting ideas for personal development can help you understand what your team members want and give you some fresh ideas. If personal development is part of your company culture, people should feel free to talk about their goals and needs with their supervisors, human resources, and the rest of their team to develop solutions, within budget of course, that can benefit everyone.
One of the key benefits of the FlexGenius platform is our communication tools. You can not only send out updates and information but solicit feedback. That said, having regular 1:1 catch ups with teams (in person or digitally) is of equal importance, especially when supporting their individual journeys.
If you’d like to find out how we can help you drive better employee engagement and look after your talent, book in for a demo. Our digital benefits platform houses your benefits, rewards, and recognition schemes, and allows you to communicate with your workforce too.