How to Support Employee Growth and Career Development in 2021

Employee Growth

Supporting employee g and career development is essential to attracting top talent, improving employee performance, and reducing employee turnover.

But how can you implement employee training and career development when your staff has a full workload and commitments to attend to?

The answer is simple: you mark them as high-priority tasks.

Time isn’t a fixed commodity like most people would have you believe. It can be stretched, altered, and rearranged to accommodate even the toughest priorities.

And in this case, your staff’s knowledge and growth depend on it.

In this article, we’ll take a look at six ways you can support your employees’ growth and career development in 2021.

1. Invest in ongoing employee training

Investing in employee training isn’t just important for employee retention, it’s also a core contributor to business growth.

Nelson Sherwin, manager of PEO Companies, says:

 “You want your employees to not only be the best they can be in terms of their jobs, but you also want them to be satisfied, happy, motivated, and feel like they have plenty of room to grow (along with opportunities for advancement and diversity of work). This isn’t just an investment in your employees; it’s an investment in your company. The better your people are, the better your company is.”

With that in mind, here are four things you should repeatedly train your staff on:

  1. How to do their jobs more efficiently
  2. How to communicate more effectively with clients, coworkers, and stakeholders
  3. How to take advantage of new industry advancements in a profound way
  4. How to improve their career development (you may need to segment your employees by job roles when offering career development tips)

To ensure training is a regular part of employee development, schedule all training programs in advance. You’ll also need to give your employees ample notice so they can make arrangements to attend each training session.

2. Create an internal podcast showPodcast

Providing and receiving regular feedback helps companies and employees grow.

But it’s not always easy to track feedback, implement it, and share it conveniently. It can also be tricky to share company-wide feedback in a way where all employees will listen.

Creating an internal podcast show is a creative way to solve this challenge.

You can invite employees to share important work updates,  proud achievements, and common work snags with an internal podcast show. It’s also an effective platform for sharing company-wide news, updates, and new protocols.

Here are some other ways you can support employee growth with an internal podcast:

  • Invite employees to call into the podcast to voice difficult questions and challenges anonymously
  • Ask employees to submit anonymous questions by email before the show starts
  • Set aside a show or two each month to provide informal training and give career development advice
  • Invite top-performing employees on the show for a company-wide Q&A session

3. Encourage employees to volunteer during work hours

Studies show that giving back provides people with a physical and mental health boost — two things vital to every employee’s success.

The health benefits associated with giving back include:

  • Increase in self-esteem
  • Longer lifespan
  • Lower stress levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Less chance of depression
  • Greater satisfaction
  • Greater happiness

To make sure your employees get the chance to receive all of these benefits, offer them a list of company volunteer programs they can take advantage of during and after work hours.

Here are some ways you and your team can give back during work hours:

  • Start a mentorship program inviting top-performing employees to mentor new employees or those who are under-performing.
  • Invite employees to donate tax-deductible gifts to an Easter or Christmas charity drive for kids
  • Start a team charity or fundraiser where everyone gets together to support a cause — i.e., host a company fun run and donate all the proceeds to a cancer charity drive
  • Invite employees to donate work shoes, uniforms, and interview clothes to a charity that helps people rejoin the workforce

4. Train employees on all things cybersecurity

As the workforce continues to use digital tools and software programs, the need for cyber security training continues to increase tenfold.

That’s because cybercriminals will stop at nothing to derail a business.

From phishing to cyberattacks to malware, there’s a lot to look out for. But without proper training, your employees can’t do their part in helping your company stay safe.

When training your employees on cybersecurity risks, be sure to cover which cyber risks are out there, how they happen, and how to prevent them.

Some examples of cyber risks include:

  • Phishing
  • Insider threats
  • Malware
  • Ransomware
  • Cyberattacks
  • Data leaks

Note: If you’re unsure how to prevent these risks, hire a cybersecurity expert to train your team for you.

Here are some other ways you can reduce company cybersecurity risks:

  • Provide your employees with tools like a VPN service or virus protection software
  • Train your employees on risk-assessment policies and approaches
  • Conduct regular cybersecurity health check-ups
  • Create a secure document signing and sharing process
  • Consider using biometric security technologies when accessing platforms
  • Use secure HR software and secure all team workflows
  • Improve password management by creating a path for single sign-on for every platform your team uses

5. Host a training series on mental fitness and emotional intelligence

Teams can’t underestimate the power of mental health and emotional intelligence.

Mental health and emotional intelligence affect everything we do. From the thoughts we have to the choices we make, mental and emotional health are at the core of it all.

But how can you support your employees’ mental and emotional health without crossing some serious boundaries?

Providing clinical support options for employees with severe mental health concerns is a good first step. But what about employees who don’t struggle with mental health concerns? What about the ones who don’t have ailments like depression or anxiety but struggle with workplace stress and coping with hardship?

That’s where special training on mental fitness and emotional intelligence comes in. If you’re not sure what these subjects mean or if you’ve heard of them, but you’re unsure how to teach others about them, it’s best to hire an expert to help. A corporate wellness program is also a good solution that you must consider.

Experts such as mental health coaches, emotional intelligence coaches, and workplace wellness coaches should be able to give your staff the training they need.

6. Meet with each employee to create a personalized career development plan

All of the training in the world won’t keep your employees around if they’re not given plenty of opportunities to:

  • Learn new skills
  • Have diverse work
  • Hone in on their expertise
  • Qualify for raises and promotions

It may seem difficult to try to manage each employee’s growth — but with a system in place, it’s a lot easier than you might think.

By crafting a personalized career development plan to build a strong resume for each employee, you’re not only creating that system, but you’re also giving your employees hope and a reason to stay.

If this still sounds like a daunting task, or if you have a large team, you can hire an HR professional or a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) to take over. Just be sure your frontline managers meet with them to give them any pertinent information they may need to know about each employee.

Wrap up

Supporting employee growth and career development is essential to attracting top-talent, improving employee performance, and reducing employee turnover.

By carving out time to regularly train your employees on all things wellness and employee growth, you’ll be on your way to creating a highly knowledgeable and highly skilled team.


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