Raise Your Hand if You Can Improve Employee Development & Recognition

Editor’s note: This is the first part of a summer series in how to improve your organization’s performance.

So, how many of you raised your hand?

It’s OK, we can’t see you – go ahead, be honest. If we were to ask your employees if they feel your organization can improve employee development and learning and increase recognition, how many would raise their hand?

One of the most overlooked yet important assets a company has is their people. If you don’t take care of the people – your long term goals are unlikely to be met – and you may never see how far you can really go with your business.

Reasons to improve employee development & learning

  • Most people want to learn. They want to be challenged. The more you can provide opportunities for them to do so, the more likely they are to remain engaged. The more engaged the workforce, the higher performing they are, the higher performing they are the more innovation and revenue are likely to increase.
  • When people acquire new knowledge they find of value, they usually have a desire to apply that knowledge, and to share it with others. Not only does this increase organizational learning, it also helps increase team performance, via knowledge sharing and communication.
  • When your people feel they can learn and grow with your organization, and they feel their knowledge and contributions are valued, then they are less likely to look for a job elsewhere.

OK– so this is great, you say. But how do I focus more on my people?

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3 ways to improve employee development & learning:

  • Ask your employees what they want. What types of knowledge and learning opportunities can help them better perform their jobs? What types of knowledge and learning opportunities make them feel challenged as individuals? Collect the data and act on it. Offer options based on employee input. One of the quickest ways to increase performance is to increase engagement.
  • Provide for peer to peer learning. Brown bag lunch and learns, webinars – take advantage of various formats available for employees to share knowledge and interests with others who may benefit. Providing employees the opportunity to transfer knowledge increases an employee’s communication skills, and is an easy way to provide recognition and make them feel valued.
  • Understand your needs and admit you don’t know what you don’t know. If specific learning and development is requested by employees, and is of value to the organization, and you don’t have the capability in house to deliver, then look outside. Partner with other organizations on learning and development offerings or bring in an outside resource.

We know your attention span is short this time of year, particularly if you have a pool or beach nearby, so we’ll keep this short. We just covered one area to look at that will help improve your performance – employee development and recognition. Our next installment will be about retention and engagement.

This was originally published on the Tolero Think Tank blog.

Scott Span, MSOD, is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions, an Organization Improvement & Strategy firm. He helps clients in achieving success through people, creating organizations that are more responsive, productive and profitable -- organizations where people enjoy working and customers enjoy doing business. 


2 Comments on “Raise Your Hand if You Can Improve Employee Development & Recognition

  1. Make sure that your career plan balances current performance expectations with future career aspirations and challenges you to build on your strengths . Always remember that there will be resources which you want and never get, maybe due to economic factors or your mangers visible or unstated constraints. Make best use of what you have readily available and not what you continue to fight for. Successful people make career out of what they have on hand and seldom squander energy on what they cannot have.


    Jappreet Sethi

  2. Lots of time, managers know that they need to give employees more opportunities to develop skills and competencies but just don’t know how, beyond the obvious ‘send them to training’ solution. We all know that not only is that option not always available and is subject to limited resources (money and time), it is often not the best way to develop certain people and/or skills. So, managers feel ‘stuck’ and don’t have the time to investigate this further. We learning professionals can help them by letting them in on the myriad other options that are available for developing employees outside the classroom and on a tight budget. Give them access to tools and techniques that can help take the mystery out of employee development and help managers develop employees outside the box. It’s one of the things I really think is missing in our profession and a big reason why I recently spent a lot of my spare time writing a book about it – to help them out!

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