Helping your employees to develop and grow within the company has numerous benefits. As well as making them a much more valuable asset to your company, employees recognise and appreciate that you are investing in them, helping with staff retention and morale.

Training on the job
One of the best ways to help your employees develop new skills is by having them train on the job with the help of a coach or mentor figure. Such an approach offers a personal touch not available at a course with dozens of attendees and also enables the employee to put what they learn into practice immediately.

However, effective training on the job depends both on the quality of the mentor and having a well-planned training programme. If your business doesn’t have the resources to develop and carry out this training programme yourself, finding an external training company may be a better option.

Performance reviews
Giving employees goals will help them to think about what they hope to achieve over the next year (or quarter, or any other appropriate period) and how they plan to achieve it. Bear in mind that these goals should help push employees rather than overwhelm them. Keeping on track with performance reviews can be tricky, but dedicated HR software can make it a much more manageable task.

While a performance review will obviously want to highlight areas where there is room for improvement, it should also recognise achievements the employee has made. In fact, encouraging words delivered effectively can give your employees the confidence they need to develop independently and try new things. Don’t just save words of encouragement for an annual review however, after all, they don’t cost anything.

Training courses
In certain situations training courses may be the only way for an employee to learn new skills. Even when there are other options, training courses may be more attractive because of the accreditation they offer or the speed with which new skills can be acquired.

These days, employees may also take online or home learning courses that don’t require absent days from work. Either way, what is lost from a few days of missed work will soon be made up for in increased productivity by way of a more qualified worker.

Job rotation / enrichment
An employee will never get the chance to develop his skills unless he or she is given the opportunity to do different things. Job rotation can help reinvigorate employees as they are given a chance to fit into a new role, whether it is on a short or long-term basis. Giving employees the chance to see how other people within the business work can also help improve communication across the company.

Benefits for the employee
In most cases, discussing with your employee how you want them to develop may be necessary before deciding anything; job rotation might not be something they feel comfortable with for example. By highlighting the benefits of development to them – making promotion a more likely prospect for one thing – they should be eager to develop, making them a happier, more valuable member of the workforce.