As organizations are calling employees back to the office, many employees are considering leaving their jobs. According to the Microsoft Work Trend Index, 40% of people are considering leaving their current organization. This is due to several factors discussed in the blog “Combating the Great Resignation.” But how do organizations create an atmosphere that motivates employees to stay?
Motivational studies show that employees who have access to formal development programs have a higher level of engagement than those who did not, and so they would be more likely to stay with their current organizations. With this in mind, organizations need to put a development plan in place for every employee. Mentoring, developing, and cross-training employees motivates them to stay with the organization and can create a diverse bench of candidates who are ready to move up to the next level if/when they are needed.
Here are 7 types of opportunities for organizations to consider as a way to develop and motivate employees.
- Manager Coaching and Mentorship Programs. There are many different types of mentoring programs such as career mentoring programs, diversity-focused mentoring programs, and high potential employee mentoring programs. The key is that managers have to be respected by the employees that they mentor and coach, or the program could cause employees to become disengaged. Organizations may want to train their managers on how to mentor and coach employees. The organization should set guidelines and goals for these types of programs along with regular checkpoints to make sure they are hitting the mark.
- Peer Coaching and Reverse Mentoring. Employees like to feel like they are valued. Implementing programs that allow them to mentor peers and give perspectives to managers up the chain helps drive the feeling of importance they play in the organization. This can also help to drive more transparency, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within all levels of the organization.
- Cross-Training. The goal of this type of training is to build the skills of employees in the organization so they have a better understanding of exactly what it takes to run vital areas of the business. Cross-training empowers employees to provide support from within the company instead of outsourcing or overloading one group of employees when disasters happen, or extra resources are needed. Organizations that want to start cross-training should start by identifying the critical tasks and skills in each department or area of the organization. Then the organization should start training employees on these tasks and skills so that they can step in to provide support when needed.
- Stretch Assignments. This type of growth opportunity helps move employees to higher performance levels. Stretch assignments help grow confidence and skillsets as employees prove themselves taking on projects that may be beyond the scope of their typical job description. Stretch assignments encourage growth, affirm a willingness to grow, and can keep employees engaged.
- Internal and External Classroom-style Training. Whether organizations are using internal or external training teams they should have a formal development plan in place for employees. Creating a 3-to-5-year program for employees to receive continuous development shows the organizations’ employees that growth and development are important. This type of plan is also essential for consistency of processes and helps identify high potential employees. Also, this is a style that can be used when implementing succession planning programs. Organizations can create cohorts with formal program tracks that help prepare employees for what is needed at the next level.
- Self-Paced Computer Based Training. This is the most cost-effective opportunity for training employees that organizations can provide. Organizations can record videos and content then allow employees to review them at their convenience. This type of training is typically more focused on compliance and onboarding, so when using it to grow employee talent, it is more effective when combined with the ability to apply concepts at work to reinforce learning and allow for skill transfer.
- Online training sessions and webinars. This differs from self-paced as it is still lead by an instructor. This type of development opportunity is more effective than self-paced and provides more flexibility than traditional classroom-style programs as the learning can be accessed from work, home, or a mobile device. The increased accessibility allows organizations to reach employees wherever they may be. The challenge is that many people may try and multitask or may have online meeting fatigue so may not be fully engaged during the training session.
Mentoring, coaching, and developing employees help to create a culture of continual growth. This type of culture motivates and engages employees. Organizations that apply the types of programs discussed above will increase employee retention causing a positive bottom-line effect on profitability and help your company avoid becoming one of the casualties of the Great Resignation.