Staff Experiences: How to Encourage Staff Development

Eleanor Barlow

Finding a great employee can often feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. When you finally hire a superstar worker, you want to do everything you can to keep them engaged and happy at work so that they stay with your company until they retire (well, that’s every bosses dream, right?!).

But employers that fail to reinvest in their staff development and assist them in their occupational progress run the very real risk of losing them to a company that will.

needle in a haystack

Several findings have highlighted a lack of employee engagement with their companies over recent years. Examples include the 2012 study by Gallup which reported that only 30% of Americans felt engaged at work, whilst a pitiful 13% of employees outside of America felt that their employers were actually engaging. Despite supported evidence of the benefits from employee engagement and retention, these figures have remained predominantly unmoved in the six and a bit years that have preceded them.

With qualitative data analysis helping many organisations discover more and more about their customers and, as a result, build better connections, it is quite poor that utilising this type of analysis for staff development is often overlooked.

When done right, data analysis can be the starting point for:

  1. Moulding enhanced staff development/experiences.
  2. Rewarding consistently fantastic workers.
  3. Supporting those who are struggling.
  4. Encouraging greater staff engagement.
  5. Nurturing the progression of employee care.

Not to mention creating a smoother-running business that is actually nice to work for!

Let’s take a look at a couple of techniques organisations can utilise to improve their staff’s level of engagement and to encourage employee development as a whole.

Effective Management

Effective management is key. It is vital that those who are positioned in managerial/leadership roles have, or acquire, the necessary skills to direct teams and keep employees motivated and committed to the organisation’s goals. See our article on workplace culture for more on this! 

Performance Reviews

Just as a runner sets manageable targets before undertaking a marathon, so should employees set small goals, in the form of a development programme, to reach larger objectives. It is the responsibility of the manager/leader/boss to work as the employee’s personal trainer, as it were, by helping them decide where he/she is, in relation to their key performance objectives and their role within the company’s infrastructure. Not to mention make the right steps to be able to cross the finish line.

Silhouette runners

Performance reviews also provide employers and higher management with the opportunity to give constructive feedback that will allow for further improvement and development- helping employees to complete their own marathons! In order to validate any changes, feedback should be supported by evidence, tied to data or linked to performance metrics. The review stage should be a tool to nurse employee growth and recognition, and not a means to knock the confidence of staff. When these reviews are constructive, measurable difference in the employee’s progress are noted.

Individual Development Plans

Creating individual staff development plans give organisations a chance to discover the interests of each of their employees, as well as their career plans (even considering cross-functional development should it meet the needs of both the organisation and the employee). Taking the time to sit down with the individual will allow you (the employer) to plan out the activities that the employee should be undertaking to develop not only themselves, but the business as well. These plans will also include measurable goals that are structured by realistic timeframes. Individual development plans encourage staff to invest their time and effort into reaching their targets and, consequently, increase the return of investment of the employee in question.

By analysing the data of staff surveys, you are also able to identify employees that may be at risk, or ones that may be struggling with their current workload or responsibilities. Predictive modelling allows managers to manage better on a day-to-day basis and can develop employee experience for the better, reduce avoidable risks to the company, and improve the business operations.

Take a look at our article specifically on Employee development plans for a more detailed analysis. 

Fist Pump

Team Improvements

Not only should employers be looking towards individuals, they should also be looking at the employee environment as a whole, and how it impacts employee engagement, productivity and morale. Reviewing and analysing the wealth of qualitative data you have at your fingertips as a company can be used to create tailored programmes and better work environments that can help to grow the capabilities and occupational well-being of your staff. By catering to the needs and wants of your staff (within reason, of course), you will find that their commitment to organisational success will be greater and their work improved.

When a company is rigid in its structures and processes, it can make it difficult for employee growth. It is up to management to remove such barriers and to use insights from the data to create a system that allows for a more fluid approach to learning and working. People flourish when walls, that prevent them from spreading their wings, are broken down. These walls can be broken easily and quickly with the help of data analysis.

blue and red waving people

Here at Pansensic, we work with many organisations, manage and analyse their staff feedback, and pinpoint insights that lead to the necessary actions for improving the experience of the employees. We don’t just summarise the data and leave you to it; we provide a real depth of insight that is more granular, more accurate and more actionable so that you can make the differences you need to make as a responsible and caring employer.

 Contact Pansensic today to see how we can help you encourage employee engagement and nurture staff development with our professional services. Ask for a demo or just have a chat! 

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