“The nature of life is to grow.” When reflecting on this famous quote, it’s evident why growth and development is such an integral part of our lives, both in a personal and professional sense. These terms are often used in conjunction with each other but have a key difference. Career growth and development is the act of building skills and knowledge in the short term, while career growth is the big picture – the overall progression of a person’s career. Development is the foundation of growth, the actionable steps that help us inch closer to our goals.
A lack of growth and development in the workplace can make us feel stagnant and purposeless, often resulting in employees becoming disengaged, unproductive, or leaving for bigger and better opportunities. Employees of today refuse to be at a standstill and are constantly looking for ways to develop their skills and progress their careers.
According to LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees would stay at a job longer if they were offered pathways for career development. It’s clear that actively investing in the growth of your people is no longer an optional employee benefit, but a must-have for organizations looking to build a highly skilled and motivated workforce.
Types of Development Opportunities To Offer Employees
There are many different types of development opportunities that can help employees grow and develop their skill sets, including:
- Internal Gigs & Projects: Short-term openings within your organization to help complete a project or fill a role on a temporary basis.
- Internal Hiring: Fill internal vacancies with existing employees interested in trying a new role or wanting to progress their careers.
- Mentorships: Employees are matched to an experienced individual within the business to create a mentee-mentor relationship aimed at sharing knowledge, expertise, and experiences.
- Coaching: Employees are matched to an experienced individual who coaches them to develop specific skills and grow within the company.
- Learning Courses & Training Programs: Giving employees access to learning and training opportunities to help them learn new skills or improve their existing skill sets.
Every employee learns and grows in different ways. It’s important to have a variety of opportunities available within your organization to give employees the choice to choose which works best for them, allowing for a more meaningful and bespoke development experience.
Development and Growth Opportunities Benefit Both the Employee and The Organization
Offering career growth and development opportunities is mutually beneficial for both employees and the organization. Employees get the chance to learn new skills, strengthen their portfolios, and gain new experiences. Simultaneously, the organization benefits from a more skilled and energized workforce that is motivated to push themselves and the business forward. Let’s explore some more of these key benefits:
Boosts Confidence and Motivation
Investing in your people sends employees a clear message – that you value them as individuals and care about their growth and development. Giving them the opportunity to learn and expand their abilities boosts their confidence as they start to gain skills that enable them to perform better in their current roles or prepare them to take on other opportunities across the business.
Ginni Saraswati, founder and CEO of Ginni Media and contributor at Forbes likens employee development to how we care for plants – in that employees – just like plants – need the right environment and conditions to grow and flourish:
As soon as you buy it and put it in the office, you pot it and give it the right soil. But without tending to the plant, it simply won’t grow or flourish. Employees need to feel a value exchange with their job, that their goals and dreams are essential and that their employer cares about them reaching those goals. Like the plant, they need to be tended to so they can grow and flourish.
The key here is to create an environment where employees are encouraged to learn and grow. Connecting employee goals with relevant development opportunities is the true game-changer in boosting employee motivation and drive at work.
Better Engagement and Retention
Research shows that a lack of career advancement opportunities is one of the most common reasons why people choose to leave their jobs. Employees value the chance to progress in their careers and want to see a future within their organization. If given opportunities to develop their skills and try new roles internally, they become more engaged with their work and are likely to stay and continue working for your organization.
Nick Holmes, Global head of Career Experience at Fishawack Health, is a big advocate for investing in people development in a meaningful way. To improve and refine Fishawack’s talent development strategy, he implemented Fuel50’s AI talent marketplace to help employees incentivize their careers and take actionable steps toward their growth and progression within the company. Not only has this impacted their ability to retain high-performing employees, but it has also transformed their employee experience for the better.
“Fuel50 is a catapult for our professional development strategy, which should massively impact two areas, one – our ability to attract great talent and two – the ability to retain it.”
When employees feel supported and encouraged to grow within your organization, they are less likely to look for new opportunities elsewhere. At the end of the day, if you invest in your employees’ careers, they will reward you with loyalty and productivity.
Future-Proofs The Success Of Your Organization
Uncertainty is the norm in today’s work environment, so keeping your workforce up-to-date with the skills needed to succeed is crucial. Harvard Business Review states that more than 60% of a company’s future roles can be filled by current employees, assuming that adequate programs are in place. Offering career development opportunities enables you to close critical skills gaps to ensure your people and organization are better prepared for the future and unlocks internal mobility so you can fill roles quickly and efficiently.
It also encourages employees to continue learning and developing their skills to stay relevant and up-to-date with the needs of both the business and the job economy. Carole Torres, former SVP & Chief Learning Officer at KeyBank recognized the opportunity to utilize existing talent and upskill them to be prepared to take on future roles within the business:
“It’s a matter of how do we reskill and upskill current teammates who are already dedicated to KeyBank, know our culture, [and] have been with us for some time – so that they can meet the needs of what is required in new and different jobs in the future.”
Create Meaningful Opportunities For Your People
Many development strategies make the mistake of focusing solely on matching development opportunities to the needs of the organization. A winning strategy goes beyond that by connecting the goals and ambitions of their people to meaningful development opportunities that will support their career growth, as well as the needs of the business. Fuel50’s powerful AI Talent Marketplace enhances this strategy by smart-matching people to learning, coaches, mentors, vacancies, gigs, projects, and career journeys to better support and align internal growth and development opportunities for each employee.
This hyper-personalized approach to talent development creates a positive ripple effect across your entire organization – higher engagement, increased productivity, and ultimately, a skilled workforce that is motivated to continue learning, growing, and pushing the business forward.
“Investing in your people right now is the most important thing you can do. You can invest in them in hundreds of different ways, but the most meaningful, impactful way you’re going to be able to do that is by saying, “I’m going to care about your career”. People want to stay because they want a career driven through purpose that’s personalized, and Fuel50 is the platform to help you do that.” – Nick Holmes, Global head of Career Experience at Fishawack Health
Learn more about how Fuel50 can enhance your talent strategy here. For more research and insights visit the Fuel50 blog.