Developing Your Employees Helps Overcome the Skills Gap

Posted May 23, 2016

Many companies are dealing with a significant job candidate shortage right now, and one way to combat the lack of labor supply is to identify hardworking team players in their organization and develop them to be able to take on other roles and responsibilities.

Identifying employees that are capable of growing into a new role can be challenging. One approach is for companies to set up a system that essentially self-selects growth candidates. If a company sets up a system that allows for growth, it should be one that entices ambitious employees who are capable of getting along with and leading others.

Create goals for each quarter

Your employee development system should set up clear, achievable goals that employees can strive for. These should be quarterly goals so an employee knows where they stand throughout the year.

In order to track progress toward each goal, managers should work with their employees to set up a system of performance metrics. The performance tracking system should raise the bar for employees as they become more skilled at their job. This helps to build a sense of accomplishment.

Goals and metrics also help employees get more meaning out of their job. For instance, a repetitive production line job won't seem quite so mundane if a worker feels like they are working toward something each day they come into work.

Create custom development plans for top performers

When an employee excels within your company's performance tracking system, management should take them aside to create a custom plan that helps them grow into a new or expanded role.

The development plan should start with a conversation that identifies the individual employee’s personal growth goals, such as gaining leadership experience or moving into a specific role or department. Every employee doesn't have the same goals, and a development plan should offer a roadmap based on what an employee is hoping to achieve.

That roadmap should include opportunities for personal professional growth. A mentorship program can help employees not only learn from experienced professionals, it can also help to grow a sense of community within your organization.

A personalized development program should also include opportunities for training both inside and outside the normal job function. Cross-training teaches an employee about the jobs that others in the company do, and it also shows them how they fit into the larger picture. Both mentorship and cross-training programs help to create a culture of growth within your company.

Finally, a development plan should facilitate learning experiences outside the workplace. Whether it's paying for employees to attend formal classes or sending them to industry conferences, these growth experiences can also serve as rewards for top-performing workers.

Being able to develop employees starts with bringing good people in the door, and that’s where we come in. If your company is looking to recruit people with the potential to excel, please contact Ambassador Personnel - a leading employment firm in the South. We can help your company fill all of your employment needs for either permanent placement or temp-to-hire solutions.