As we wrap up this month’s theme on employee development, let’s look at the last piece of the puzzle – recognizing and rewarding employees for their development efforts.
As we have noted, there are certainly intrinsic rewards to the employee for training – such as increased job satisfaction, greater autonomy as one is given more trust that they can handle their job duties, the ability to move up in the company, etc. There are also great benefits to the company – such as reduced staff turnover, increased employee engagement and productivity, increased ability to adopt new technologies, methods and processes, and much more.
However, as employees learn and grow, it will take a significant about of their time and effort. So make sure that employees are appropriately rewarded when they achieve major accomplishments and go above and beyond performance standards as they master their jobs and cross-train into new areas.
Managers play a critical role in motivating and incentivizing their reports, but the company needs to supplement the hands-on of the manager with more formal incentive and recognition reward programs for employee development.
These more formal programs help cultivate a culture of continuous learning. Recognition programs that recognize not just meeting performance goals, but also reward those that pursue continuous improvement and new skills development will encourage employees to pursue learning opportunities.
In addition to formal recognition for when learning milestones are met, consider ways to publicize and promote the journey itself. Perhaps highlighting a “Learner of the Month” in the employee newsletter, or interviewing an employee about what they are currently training on and posting the video on the company intranet.
Another great way to motivate and make the learning itself the reward, is by positioning developmental opportunities as not just a job requirement, but as a reward for top performers. This takes training and development from a dreaded must-do to an anticipated prize for a job well done.
As companies look for ways to stay competitive and prosper for years to come, employee development is a critical piece. Companies cannot depend on the ability to just purchase talent in the open marketplace. Your “human resources” are truly your most valuable investment. Make sure that you are best preparing them and your company for the future.
By Ann Condon, Marketing Manager
Ann Condon has been with Dion for 16 years, working in Dion’s Marketing and Business Development Department. Although this was her first position with a jewelry manufacturer, she has learned a lot over the years. Ann enjoys getting involved in “All Things Dion” from volunteering at the Dion Golf Tournament to being a part of the Dion Diamonds Relay for Life Team. She has quite a number of Dion event t-shirts to show for it!
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