Did you know that organizations with happy, engaged employees are 21% more profitable than those with an unhappy or disengaged workforce?
This makes sense, given that talented and motivated workers are one of the most valuable commodities an organization can have. They’re more loyal, hardworking and dedicated to helping the company reach its goals.
The challenging part is being able to hire, onboard and continually engage your employees to help them unlock their full potential and work as productively and passionately as possible.
Therefore, in order to get the most from your workforce and make your organization as successful as possible, you need to invest in both your employee’s personal and professional wellbeing and growth.
Here are six strategies you can use to develop your employees to their full potential.
1. Deliver ongoing training
As the business world experiences ever-changing technologies, processes and regulations, organizations now recognize that learning is a life-long mission – it’s an ongoing task that helps professionals to stay up-to-date, innovative and in the know. This means that only offering training as part of the onboarding process is simply not enough.
In order to keep improving employee performance as well as employee happiness, workers must be presented with plenty of opportunities to keep learning. This can help them improve the quality of their work and prepare them for taking on more senior roles or additional responsibilities further down the line.
Through ongoing training, employees can unlock their full potential and work better as a team. And from a more personal perspective, this also allows them to reach their career development goals.
It’s clear that ongoing training plays an important role in the happiness and overall success of your employees. Therefore, it’s a good idea to speak with them about what training they think would be most beneficial to them. Creating an open and communicative environment makes it much easier for individuals to approach their managers to ask for additional training when they feel they need it.
2. Adopt peer-to-peer learning
When you’re thinking about how to develop employees to their full potential, think not just about how you can help them, but how they can help one another too. The paradigm within many organizations is starting to see a positive shift from ‘supervising and hierarchy’ to ‘partnerships and mentoring’.
This more modern approach to learning and development creates space for self-evaluation and peer-to-peer learning. By encouraging a peer-to-peer learning approach within your organization, individuals get mentorship and support from their colleagues rather than unknown third-party providers or their managers.
This has several advantages, one of the biggest being that workers are less worried about making a mistake or failing when they’re being taught by their colleagues. It also helps to foster an environment of self-governance and employee empowerment.
Lots of modern training and skill management platforms offer tools and opportunities for peer-to-peer learning to take place in a more transparent and creative way. This leads to growing expertise across the workforce and helps to boost knowledge sharing and build better relationships across the workforce.
3. Develop leadership
It’s widely recognized that many professionals don’t leave organizations; they leave their managers/employers. This is typically due to poor leadership and lack of investment in their career progression.
Today’s professionals want guidance and support in their careers; they want to be able to develop and grow with the company, and this requires strong leadership. As such, you can’t get complacent; leaders must continually work with their teams on building their knowledge and boosting their skill set.
Managers also play a crucial role in helping employees to set and achieve their career development goals. So, in order to unlock full potential across your teams, organizations must focus on developing the leadership skills of their workforce, particularly within middle and junior-level management, rather than just C-Suite.
You must also offer plenty of opportunities for coaching to help managers boost team morale and support employee development.
4. Give your employees new responsibilities
Another way to develop employees to their full potential is through the diversification of tasks. The same daily routine can become monotonous very quickly and can lead to complacency and boredom.
Not only this, but it can leave employees feeling stuck in a rut like they aren’t progressing. This is a sure-fire way to lose good workers and means that levels of creativity and innovation will remain low.
As a result, one of the best ways to empower your employees is by giving them new duties and expanding their job roles. This encourages creativity and helps them to step out of their comfort zone.
This is good for their career progression while also being great for your business. Fresh-faced, excited and keen to prove they can manage their new tasks, employees are likely to work harder, smarter and bring new ideas to the table.
5. Monitor each employee using data
Data provides organizations with actionable insights, be that data on consumer behaviors, the economy, the labor market or anything else – and employee data is no exception.
By gathering feedback and data from your employees, businesses can quickly see where individuals shine and any areas that they need to improve on. This data will play an important role in their performance reviews as it allows managers to highlight strengths and weaknesses, backing this up with facts so as not to criticize or deflate an employee or their motivation.
What’s more, during employee assessments, managers can use employee data to recognize any additional training individuals might need to help them boost their skills.
By gathering data over time, it’s far easier for managers to see whether their employees are progressing and by how much. This can make goal setting and future performance reviews much more targeted and successful for both parties.
6. Close the skills gap
We’ve already mentioned training, development and helping employees to boost their key skills - and with good reason. It’s well documented that organizations suffer from skills gaps. In fact, 87% of companies worldwide are facing talent shortages which impact their revenues and future growth.
But did you know that the skills gap is a two-way street, with employees also feeling the impact of these skill shortages?
Skill mismatches mean that many professionals are unable to compete with their peers when looking for a job, and as a result, some are unable to follow their desired career path.
In order for both parties to thrive, for employees to be as successful as possible and for businesses to remain profitable and innovative, organizations must focus on upskilling and reskilling their employees when they need it.
There are several ways that businesses can support their workforce in bridging the skills gap. These include:
- Outlining the hard and soft skills desired for specific positions within the business and ensuring those applying or already within the role are given the required training
- Future-proofing their skill sets by keeping up with developing trends
- Building knowledge of where the biggest skills gaps lie across the industry as a whole, so these can be tackled early on
- Upskilling employees by offering plenty of opportunities for training and development
By working hard to close the skills gap in this way, as well as implementing some of the strategies in this article, you’ll better understand how to develop employees to their full potential.
Remember: in order to help staff succeed and unlock their full potential, they must be happy, motivated and empowered. This requires regular feedback, strong leadership, the ability to take on additional responsibilities and of course opportunities to learn.