Is Employee development really a cost?

Leaders can reduce employee turnover through their roles in their organisations and the one of their leadership team. My MBA thesis gave me the opportunity to talk to more than 50 leaders in the IT Industry. The importance of leadership and how to be bring purpose to your employees was discuss at that time. But what else?

A major topic covered by industry leaders is Employee development. 

Some interviewees noticed an increasing demand for more responsibilities from their employees and wondered if this was due to the younger generations repeatedly called “millennials” coming into the workforce.

Others outlined this positive trend into growing as an individual or a leader inside their organisations.

In such a pressurised market as Dublin, employers have now little to no choice to discuss further education options as a key benefit for their employees.

Some see employee development as a cost and I would like to offer a strong alternative. 

Everybody needs to learn in a role and stay up to date with their industry, internal systems and procedures. This is undoubtedly a question of credibility for your business

From the onboarding process to the daily life, you certainly noticed some of your employees are willing to learn more and understand better how things around them are happening.

These employees should be prioritised for career growth plan and future leadership positions. But what about others? Is this fair? Should this be linked to performance?

It is time to sit down with your Management Team and ideally your HR Business Partner to remediate to this challenge.

Strategic leaders suggested to use the  9 Box of HR model to  align performance and potential.

This model has been recommended by key industry leaders coming from mid-large size organisations as an enabler for growth for start-ups and SMEs. Originally built by McKinsey, it compares in a matrix potential and performance of any employee in an organisation.

Categories like “Growth Employee” or “Star” and “High Impact Contributor” are considered as high-value for the business and should not be lost.

Other categories of employees especially when their performance is high, should be challenged to develop their potential. 

Employees categorised with high potential growth, but low performance should be also assessed in terms of potential change in the job role or intensive training. 

9-box Matrix adapted to HRM (Tunguz, 2015)

Then what about the cost? Indeed, the cost of training can be high despite various Universities and private schools running in Ireland.

This should be perceived, as an investment in your talents, motivated to learn, and a great occasion for them, to mingle with like-minded professionals. 

Solutions? Professional associations like the Sales Institute or the Institute of Directors offer corporate memberships that allow interesting discounts.

For smaller budgets, LinkedIn offers through an online learning module accessible 24/7 and 365 days a year, a comprehensive range of trainings and certifications for €1.00 or the price of a coffee per day.

Employees engaged in some learning programmes or academic degrees will stay longer in your company especially if you partly or totally fund it. They will be eager to do the extra mile for your business and ready for their next role quickly.

So, no, employee development is not a cost but an investment. 

Indeed, in Dublin’s candidate-driven market, your most talented employees will be leaving first. Feeling familiar? 

So are you using the 9-box of HR model? Would you like to know more about it? Contact me and I can go deeper about how you can use this model in the best way.

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