Daily Buzz: Supporting Employee Development, Minus the Budget

Employee development doesn’t need to cost a bundle—and it could save money, done right. Also: The art of innovation.

Employee training and employee development aren’t necessarily the same thing—and you can develop employees even when training budgets have been cut.

“Employee development is a branch that bears fruit for your organization—it can have a massive impact on the long-term health of your employees and business,” says Vibhas Ratanjee at Gallup. “Virtual learning and courses are becoming a popular option, but beyond ‘formal’ training (that probably doesn’t really help you cut costs), there are everyday opportunities at your disposal.”

Given that Gallup research shows that organizations that have strategically invested in development are twice as likely to retain employees—and that the average cost of hiring a new employee is $4,129—organizing a development program may even be a cost-cutting measure.

Among the principles Ratanjee lays out are continual coaching and support, building a virtual network for education, and actively promoting a culture that embraces learning. Also, organizations may want to focus on behavioral skills in addition to essential skills, as an IBM study shows that the top two sought-after talents are “soft” skills.

Organizations may also benefit from training managers on providing better feedback for employees. “If you provide training for your managers on how to give more meaningful feedback and develop people’s unique strengths, it cascades into providing growth to all of your employees on an ongoing basis,” Ratanjee says.

Innovation Isn’t Passive

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but it shouldn’t be a single parent. At the Successful Associations Today podcast, business coach Joe Calloway argues the need for associations to actively innovate instead of letting passivity and inertia take hold.

“The time to innovate is before you have to,” Calloway says. “And we all know that, but golly, it’s hard to put that into play unless something’s snapping at you from behind and you feel some sort of threat.”

Calloway points to virtual meeting and event technology as an example. The COVID-19 crisis has necessitated rapid embrace of technologies that could have taken years to become standard. If associations look forward—and create a culture that hunts out innovations—they can start looking toward the carrot instead of running from the stick. “I really think this proactive innovation and an ongoing sense of urgency is very much a culture issue that leadership has to reinforce every day,” Calloway says.

Other Links of Note

Now that we’re all more comfortable with virtual events, planners are exploring platforms and services to make them better. MeetingsNet offers a guide.

Member retention and recruitment need special attention these days, and The Moery Company has tips on making your efforts successful.

Before you engage your community, you need to know exactly what “community engagement” means for you. Nonprofit Marketing Guide can help.

(marchmeena29/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano

By Autumn Whitefield-Madrano

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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