HR 5 April 2017

Three employee development strategies for small business owners

Successful employee development
Successful employee development strategies can aid both staff motivation and retention

Writing for Business Advice, Peter Done, founder of Peninsula HR, outlines three employee development strategies for small business owners to ensure their workforce remains motivated and engaged with their role.

A business is only as strong as the people who operate within it. This is a sentiment, which is echoed in the organisational structure that has been built at Peninsula. The business mantra is “success starts here”, so it is important to acknowledge that without the hard work and dedication of the talented individuals here, the business would not have achieved half of the success and recognition it is has received.

For this reason, the ultimate aim is to foster and facilitate the learning and development of every employee that steps through the doors here, providing a work environment that is enriching and rewarding.

In an effort to keep employees engaged in their work and help them achieve more success within the company it is important to invest in them. Here are three crucial ways to successfully manage employee development:

  1. Set and update goals on a regular basis

The key to actively developing employees is to set relevant and achievable goals. Rather than setting and discussing employee goals on an annual basis, optimise the development and review process by creating quarterly goals. Not only are these goals easier to set, but the results of those goals are easier to see.

Quarterly goals are the quickest, easiest way for employees to derive meaning from what they do every day. As such, creating achievable goals and monitoring employee progress is crucial.

With the rapidly changing nature of a business, some goals may no longer be relevant longer down the line. Revisiting these goals every quarter highlights which goals need to be updated, ensuring that individual work goals are still applicable.

  1. Offer opportunities for individual growth

Employees want training to aid their development and to advance their career. Providing coaching and development activities throughout the year is an employer’s best bet to create a culture of growth within the workplace.

To ensure continuous growth and improve productivity, provide employees with the tools they need to function to be at their best.

For new starters, consider creating a mentorship program in which new hires work closely with a seasoned employee within their department. Doing so will get new employees on the right track sooner.

Additionally, develop current employees by offering regular training programs or bringing in industry professionals for “lunch and learns.”

Most importantly, encourage staff to seek professional employee development opportunities outside of the workplace. Employees that aim to advance their skills in their own time will likely become great leaders and should be recognised for their efforts.

  1. Always Celebrate Success

At a time for when uncertainty is being dealt with each day for UK businesses, it is important to take the time to celebrate success. This goes beyond acknowledgment – this is about taking a step back and reflecting on what employees have accomplished and what they have learned throughout the journey.

In today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing world of work, people are not taking enough time to understand why they were successful and how their success reverberated and positively impacted those around them.

Remember, employers are only as successful as their employees. The great business leaders know that with the right team dynamics, decisions and diverse personalities, everyone wins in the end.

If you have any success tips to share and would like the chance to star in your own advert which will promote your business to more than 40,000 people in Peninsula’s network, visit the Peninsula website

Find out how small firms can match big business on employee development

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