The greatest stories from the best tech companies to work for are never about just one person. Winning companies are built because of the team and its culture. And often, that starts with leadership and employee development. 

Every leader wants a highly motivated and productive team that achieves great results. But it’s not easy to accomplish. 

The key to building a great team is by investing in your team members’ professional growth and development. 

What is Employee Development?

Employee development is not just about providing training courses or workshops. It’s about creating a culture that fosters growth and development. As an employer, investing in your employees’ professional development can help to improve their job satisfaction, motivation, and productivity. 

Essentially, workplace productivity is not solely based on the skill set of just one person. It’s a culmination of various factors that go hand in hand to create an efficient, productive, and healthy work environment. 

Benefits of Employee Development

Another great reason to invest in your team members?

Employee development benefits both the company and the individual team member.

According to research from McKinsey, investing in team members pays off for companies in the form of more consistent earnings, greater resilience during crisis, better talent retention and lower rates of attrition. Employee development also pays off for workers: Skills learned on the job contribute 46% of the average person’s lifetime earnings, and companies that build human capital are more likely to propel their employees into higher earnings brackets over the course of a career.

7 Employee Development Strategies to Boost Team Performance

From cross-functional training to job shadowing, mentoring, and coaching, these strategies will help you create a culture of growth and development that benefits everyone in your organization. 

Here are seven employee development strategies that can help you boost your team’s performance.

1. Create a plan to develop both current and future leaders

Beyond the general development strategy, you need a specific plan for developing current and future leaders. At ADVISA, we believe leadership development is the most important investment an organization can make in their future success. Interestingly, we also observe most organizations do not have a comprehensive, multi-level, long-term approach to leader development and succession planning. You can’t understate the urgency and importance of 10,000 Boomers retiring each day.

Heather Haas, President at ADVISA

2. Build a culture where it is OK to make mistakes

One strategy we have is Friday Fails, where we gather around and discuss something we “Failed” at in the past week. You would think this would be a problem, but it makes us stronger together, knowing we are trying new things and can laugh at our mistakes. This skill makes you a better leader as you connect on a human level.

Travis Hall, VP Marketing at Remodel Health

3. Delegate, share the responsibility, and coach more

I always support training, industry conferences, etc., as an opportunity for team members to learn new skills and experiences from others. But in reality, it will likely only be a significant return for your company if they can immediately put what they have learned into practice. Delegation is the key to upskilling. Share the responsibility, coach, and let them experience it firsthand. You will become the manager, leader, or executive they credit for helping them achieve their passions.

Tim Conder, Founder and CEO at CXology

4. Work together to plan individual career growth 

I can honestly say that my biggest flex as a manager is being able to point to past employees and show off their success. My strategy for helping employees develop is to talk to them about where they want their career to go, have them look for the pathway that they need to follow to get there, and then ensure they have the ability to do the work that will move them into the next role on their path.

Sena Hineline, VP of Marketing at Codelicious

5. Encourage collaboration across teams

Cross training and collaboration are our top methods we use to upskill our team! Encouraging team members to work together and learn from one another deepens relationships between us and gives everyone a chance to learn something new that can usually be applied to their own roles.

Dallas Cooper, VP of People at Multiply Technology

6. Share company-wide and industry best practices

Increase the understanding across your company of best practices for your industry by developing a library of best practice content and by holding regular best practice education sessions.

Thomas Millay, CEO at DemandJump

7. Encourage interacting with customers as often as possible

We are a professional services firm, so it is very important that our early-career team members have the opportunity to present work and interact with clients as often as possible. Our clients see the trust we have in our team and our employees see the trust we place in them and in their work.

Stewart Burns, Principal at T4

Employee development is an important part of company culture because it involves providing opportunities and resources for employees to acquire new skills, knowledge, and experience to improve their performance and career growth. These simple strategies can help you invest in your team members in ways that are not only beneficial to each individual person, but also to the organization as a whole. 


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