Whatever your business, developing your employees matters. I’d wager to bet it’s something you feel in the back of your mind you ought to do more of but you just don’t have time to. (I know when I was in the corporate world I felt that way.)
Besides, employee development is an activity whose payoffs are long term. It’s hard to show quick ROI on… and let’s assume Schnauzer, your crusty old CFO over there in the stately corner office, is death on projects without ginormous ROI.
So if you need some ammunition to give to Schnauzer, here goes: six good reasons to spend more time developing your employees.
There’s solid data behind it. A study in Harvard Business Review found a connection between the early exits of top young managers and frustration with lack of development opportunities. And this is exactly the kind of high-achieving talent companies want to hold onto.
Employees take it seriously. As the study cited above noted (and as my decades in management confirmed), employees are greatly appreciative when managers take a genuine interest in their development. Why wouldn’t they be? It can substantively benefit their careers…and who doesn’t want that?
It breeds loyalty. Employees don’t forget managers who helped them generously along the way. I know I didn’t. And I always felt those whom I went out of my way to develop (though I guiltily admit there weren’t enough of them) were loyal to me.
Loyalty breeds productivity. Yes indeed it does. Hard work, commitment and productivity. Enough said.
It’s good for your organization. Even without those elusive ROI figures in hand, it’s hard to argue that having more versatile and broadly skilled employees – increasing intellectual capital, in short – isn’t a positive thing for your company. I suspect even old Schnauzer would have a hard time disagreeing.
It’s good for your own career. Gaining a reputation as someone who effectively develops his or her people is an excellent reputation to have. Such managers stand out in an organization and are generally widely known and respected. Once you gain a reputation as a top breeder of talent, you’ll likely find yourself with higher productivity and lower turnover.
Even Schnauzer will approve of that.