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Blog #6 - Gain and Retain; which learning benefits do you offer to keep your employees on board?

“Hi Ronen, great to have you joining our team. This is your salary and amount of holiday days, for pension we use this company, and you’re entitled to have a gym membership for a reduced price in these locations. Please sign here, here, and here and welcome on board!.”

That’s all great, but then I wonder to myself “what else”? When it comes to personal development and investing in people, what else the company offers me and you to stay?

It’s 2018, we care more about our personal and professional goals in life and are more critical about the paths we choose. ‘Millennials’ is a word we often hear and read about. They are the people that will not compromise on the place they work for, as they want to live the ‘cause’. But without tagging any specific generation, we can all agree that being in one organisation for 40 years is an urban-myth from the previous century.

While there is no need for somebody to stay in one place for so many years, what else a manager needs to do to at least keep them for a few good years and really enjoy their knowledge and expertise? Otherwise…studies show that despite the common perception amongst organisations, cutting-off people for different reasons, will cost employers twice as much money and time to hire somebody else for the mission, and get him or her up to speed.

Coming every day to the office and producing what is expected is only a 2D view of our professional reality. Eventually, we are all in this ride not (only) for the money, but to learn, develop, and reach new heights. There is no one employee or colleague that will tell you that they are happy with what they know today and personal development is the last thing on their bucket list. In case they tell you this, it’s not a good sign for the organisation, as these employees didn’t find themselves yet in the right profession, role, or industry. We all get excited with doing things we appreciate and believe in, and our minds digest information easily once we press on the right curiosity buttons. Once this excitement is not provided, we will start to look for it elsewhere. This is the dark path to a high employee turnover.

So, if you employ people or have any direct influence on these who manage and lead, it is time for some self-reflection by asking “what are the learning and development opportunities I offer to the ones I’m dependent on to deliver our shared success?" Also, ask yourself how much you promote curiosity, and not only results and targets within your team or organisation?

Don’t wait for HR or the L&D professionals to build the next high-level futuristic learning program in 2020. Take initiative and make the first steps for the sake of your employees today! There are lots of great ideas to think about and these are only a few examples:

  • Specific courses that will help your employee/s to acquire the latests tools in the field

  • Visits to job-related conferences to get inspired and meet relevant professionals

  • Set up a mentoring program with Subject-Matter-Experts

  • Bring outside trainers or coaches to improve specific skills or mindsets

  • Create long-term development plans that include all of the above

You probably think to yourself “I’m not an expert in employees’ development, so what do I know?” Well, it’s very simple: just be open and ask your employees what will help them to become better and what are their learning goals. They might not have the answers immediately but that’s perfectly fine. If you ask and push for the feedback, you already set the wheels in motion.

Remember, if you want to serve as a leader you shouldn’t manage the product itself but the people who work on it. If your employees feel that there is somebody that cares about them and really helps them develop, they will stay and you will retain them for a longer period of time. Of course, there is always the chance that they might leave, even if you invest in them. But that shouldn’t hold you back from ‘helping them to help you’ in the time you have together, and reach great results together.

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