Your team wants to succeed. And, in an increasingly competitive talent market, you need them to succeed. Otherwise, you’re apt to lose your best and brightest to the competition.
What can you do to ensure that every one of your employees — from the most junior associate to your COO — is primed for success? When tailored to your organization’s unique needs, these five proven workforce development strategies may light the way.
- Invest in Generous Employee Benefits Packages
“Employee benefits” is a nebulous term. It’s easy to see benefits like flexible working hours and unlimited time off as giveaways, rather than workforce development imperatives, but consider the opportunity cost of not keeping pace with the competition. At minimum, you want to offer generous health benefits and financial perks like a 401(k) match.
- Offer Scholarships to Employees and Their Families
Happy employees are productive employees. Even if they’re not the ones using this benefit, they’ll appreciate the opportunity you’re giving their kids or spouses or other close relatives. According to Majestic Steel USA president and CEO Todd Leebow, his Cleveland-based steel service center’s scholarship fund is perennially popular; dozens of Majestic associates’ families have directly benefited from its generosity.
- Subsidize Off-Site Continuing Education
You don’t have to go to the lengths of C3.ai founder Tom Siebel, whose company’s continuing education benefit includes a $25,000 cash bonus, 15% guaranteed salary increase, and variable stock grant. Only C3.ai employees who complete online master’s degrees in computer science qualify, anyway; most members of your team probably lack the time and aptitude to tackle such an ambitious education program.
At the same time, you can surely right-size a generous continuing education grant program that fits your firm’s needs. Do it sooner rather than later.
- Sponsor On-the-Job, Intergenerational “Internships”
Think of this as an unusually robust on-the-job training program — a deep-dive “internship” that pairs junior employees with older mentors who’ve been in their roles for years or decades. Skills transfer isn’t the only benefit here, although that’s of course a perk. There’s an intangible boon to intergenerational camaraderie, too.
- Shape, Then Hire, Actual Interns
Actual interns have a role to play in your workforce development strategy, too. All the more so when your internship program is a legitimate talent pipeline. Why pass up the opportunity to shape new hires before they’re officially on your payroll?
Help Your Employees Help Themselves
For better or worse, you’re the boss. You rise and fall with your team. Their successes are your successes; their failures, your failures. The buck — well, you know the rest.
Few business leaders seriously believe that there’s a single secret to enduring success. But most who’ve seen their fair share of wins will tell you that one key is an empowered workforce — a workplace in which workers feel “help themselves,” however they choose to define that. When every employee is free to realize his or her true potential, the entire organization benefits.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s your turn to help your team help itself.