Today’s best employees, not the average ones, are those who look at the quality of the workplace and its commitment to educate, advance and develop employees before they accept a job. They are selective because they realize they have a great deal to offer and want to bring an organization that will both appreciate it and develop it. If not, they don’t apply. If already employed, they are the first ones to consider leaving. Development is now both an attraction and retention tool.
Here are three reasons why employee development pays are:
- It attracts the best employees. Great employees not only look at today’s opportunities, but search for organizations that share a roadmap for employee opportunities and success in the future. Great employees invest in companies that invest in them.
- It amplifies performance. Employees who are developed – who are involved in education, learning and taking on new responsibilities – expand their skills and value to the organization. They readily take on more and use what they learn to perform at higher levels.
- It retains the best employees. There is a popular misconception that employees have no loyalty because they change jobs every 2-3 years (barring our current recession). What is happening instead is that employees are disappointed with the lack of development, advancement, learning and opportunities in their workplaces – and choose to find other organizations that offer what they need and want in a workplace. Great employees want to see their career roadmap become a reality; they expect organizations to get them ready to advance, improve and excel. They want to be regularly included in ways to add value and make a difference.
Jan Ferri-Reed says in her article, “To Develop is to Retain” (in the August 2011 issue of Chief Learning Officer), “Branding development via recruitment and promoting it internally at all levels can help organizations attract and keep top performers.” At a time where 85% of company expenses and 70% of company value creation are employee-related, having a plan to use development to attract and retain the best employees should be a component of all companies’ human capital and company performance strategies.
Jay Forte is a nationally ranked thought leader and President of Humanetrics. Jay guides organizations – their leaders and managers – in how to attract, hire and retain today’s best talent. He is the author of “Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition” and “The Greatness Zone – Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform The World.” Jay is a member of SHRM, ASTD, the National Speakers Association and the Florida Speakers Association. follow him on Twitter.