Things weren’t looking so cheery in workplaces around the world in 2020. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, employee engagement was down and stress was up in the United States, Canada and many other countries.
It’s easy to blame the Coronavirus for turning the world inside out and forcing businesses to operate remotely in a suddenly chaotic marketplace, but that alone can’t explain why more than 80% of poll participants reported unhappiness with their jobs.
Conversations about reinventing work are starting to surface, and there’s a buzz through many communities that sounds a lot like, “We’re ready for something new.”
As an employer, you may not feel quite so ready for something new. You may have your eye on fresh talent as more and more workers search for fresh opportunities, but don’t rush to invest in someone new before answering one question honestly:
Have I done everything possible to develop skill and encourage growth in my current employees?
It comes down to the dilemma of paying more for new talent or investing more in the talent you’ve already secured. Now that discontent in the workplace is leading many to change jobs and there are millions of jobs available, competition for the most talented workers has intensified.
The good news is you may not need to compete because you’re about to understand the importance of helping the talent you already have develop new skills. Chances are high they will help you in return.
4 Reasons to Invest in Employee Development
- It’s often more affordable to develop the talent of an existing employee than to secure top talent in high demand. The bottom line is always important, and you could end up with a stellar asset to the team while paying less.
- The best way to gain loyalty is to show loyalty. Whether you implement a skills development and rewards program that is available to all employees or simply invest in the individual needs of each team member, you’re showing loyalty and respect for your employees. They’re likely to feel more secure in their jobs, thus less likely to go searching for something fresh and new.
- New talent isn’t always as spectacular as they appear on paper. There are a lot of elements to consider, including how they will fit in with the team you have already put in place.
- Happy employees are the most powerful statement you can make to potential new talent. When someone comes into the office for a job interview, they pick up on the overall vibe and happiness level. You’re more likely to impress the right candidates if they enjoy the culture and see that your current employees feel valued.
Are Your Stars Hiding in Plain Sight?
If you’re thinking that you can’t invest in the talent you have because they don’t have the education or training that you need most right now. If you look a little closer at employees in lower positions, you’re likely to find that some of them have the raw talent and basic skills needed to fill higher roles with just a bit more development. Weigh the cost of giving them the opportunities they need to fill new roles versus investing in someone who already has those skills, and you’re likely to find some of your existing employees the more attractive option.
Some people just really need a chance to show what they can do. You can give them chance and earn their loyalty for years to come. There are few things more inspiring than employees moving up the ladder because their employer saw their value.
How to Best Invest in the Talent You Already Have
What’s important is not just that you develop skill in your existing team. It’s that you develop individuals in the most advantageous way. They should feel like you’re helping them grow on their desired career path, and the development should benefit your company in some way.
Here are some questions to guide you toward the best opportunities for employee development and growth:
- What skills and talent will you need in the near and distant future? How can you develop those skills and give current employees applicable experience so that they’re ready to fill those roles?
- Where are you lacking with your current employees? Can you identify some employees with the potential to fill those gaps with a little more experience, training, or education?
- Do you have employees who consistently impress and show potential to do much more than they current role allows? What would it take to develop their skill or enhance their education so that they can level up?
You may still need to compete for fresh talent after considering the full potential of the workers you have already secured. Alternatively, you may find that you already have everything your company needs to succeed. It’s just underdeveloped at t his point.
Investing in New Talent vs Developing Existing Talent
Yes, workplaces are forever changed by the pandemic. Yes, many employees are unhappy with their jobs. Yes, many hiring managers and small business owners are competing to win over the most talented employees in their industries. It’s an employee’s market we could say, but that doesn’t mean you have to poach your competitor’s star to thrive in this climate.
You can get ahead by helping the stars you already have shine their brightest. When you invest in the talent you already have, you also have a tremendous advantage when you do decide that competing for new talent is necessary.
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