One of the secrets of successful businesses is that they invest in their workforce. If you see your employees simply as a resource to be used you will quickly find that resource is non-renewable: staff who are stuck in their role, without a way to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities will soon begin looking for more opportunities elsewhere. Jobhunting is a demanding and stressful experience, and if you’re pushing your employees into it, it’s a sure sign something is wrong.
The key is to show employees that time spent in your business is more valuable to them than time spent elsewhere. Investing money in developing their skills pays off for you in big ways: firstly and most obviously, you have a more skilled workforce. Secondly, you get the benefits of employees staying with you in the long term, who have the deep experience of your systems and ways of working that makes them so much more efficient than new hires.
If you’re trying to develop your workforce, the first thing you need to do is institute comprehensive employee appraisal processes. These can be an awkward conversation, for the manager and the employee, but if you’re able to push past the awkwardness to have a genuine conversation about strengths, weaknesses and goals you will come out with a much better understanding of your workforce, and where they want to be a year from now. This allows you to plan opportunities for them to train, and try out new responsibilities, collaborating with your workforce rather than imposing unasked for training days from above.
In many cases, you could pair people who are interested in developing particular skills with more experienced members of staff and allow them to develop a mentor relationship. This benefits the mentee, but also gives the mentor a taste of management, and helps to develop their career as well.
If you have enough people who are all interested in the same thing, you could take the time to organise a course or workshop for all of them at the same time. While you might not have the facilities in your office to accommodate a training session, if you look for a training room for hire in London you’ll find plenty of options to accommodate your needs, whether you need to run an IT course or a First Aid class.
If you take the time to listen to your staff and work with their needs you might be surprised at where you end up!