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Investing In Your Employees' Career

You’ve done it! You have put together the best brigade your company has ever had. Hand-picking and grooming this enthusiastic group of dedicated workers took time and money, but you know they are worth it. Your biggest challenge for the future, will be keeping those highly motivated, eager beavers from lapsing into a spiritless squad of sloths. You want to keep them happy–but you’re not sure how.

Maintaining a contented workforce is not as difficult as it sounds. Simply imagine the type of environment that you’d love to work in and ask yourself–“what features of that workplace make it a desirable place to work in?” It is likely that those key motivators fall into the following categories.

Expanding Their Minds

In order to do their jobs to the best of their abilities, your employees need to, first, be thoroughly trained. According to “Employee Training is Worth the Investment,” 40 percent of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions with the first year–which translates to a massive waste of time and money. In fact, “Want Your Company to Succeed? Better Invest in Your Employees” states that according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average cost-per-hire is over $5100 for small businesses and $7600 for those with over 500 employees. That’s a serious chunk of change.

The second aspect of training is ensuring that your employees have the opportunity to learn new skills and expand their professional horizons. Not only will this enable you to foster employee loyalty and retention, help your company run more efficiently, and better able you to promote from within, but it will also make your company more appealing to potential new recruits. Yes, training is well worth the financial investment.

Build Their Careers

A long-term employee needs to feel like you are offering them a career “path,” not a job that leads to a “dead end.” That’s why it is important to partner with them in the development of their career. Ask them where they see themselves in three years and work with them to create a plan to get there.

An Employee Mentoring program is another great option. “How to Invest In Your Career” instructs employees to seek a mentor–someone who you can build a relationship with that can give you advice on growing your career.” This enables workers to receive tangible advice from someone with more knowledge.

Investing In Your Employees' Career

Invest in Company Culture

The work environment plays a salient role in determining employee satisfaction. According to “20 Ways to Motivate Your Employees Without Raising their Pay,” employees rate working conditions as the second most important motivator in the workplace. While the office’s appearance, the technology available, and access to comfortable seating all play a role in establishing a pleasant work environment, an often overlooked component is the company culture. It is these “unique” benefits, exclusive to your business, that make your employees want to stay.

Here are a few ideas that some innovative employers have introduced that may spark a few brainwaves of your own.

  • Forbes Magazine’s “5 Unique Ways to Invest in Your Employees” refers to a job benefit introduced by LaunchMob Media. The CEO, Ken De Gilio, has his team volunteer for One Brick Orlando doing social media training, often in a bar. This allows his employees to give something back to their community, while building a strong team.
  • In “5 Ways to Keep Employees Excited” by Fortune Magazine, John Ratliff of the call-center firm, Appletree Answer, refers to the initiative he introduced within his organization called “Dream On.” The company fulfills one wish for each employee–a benefit that has only cost his business $250,000 since its induction in 2008–but has reduced his voluntary turnover rate dramatically.
  • 7 Unusual Ways to Motivate Your Employees” refers to a program introduced by Brian Halligan, the CEO of Hubspot. When an employee comes up with a new idea for how to do business, they are “fired” from their current job and appointed CEO of a new in-house start-up. Halligan states this is done to “empower the edges of the organization–the people who really understand the customers.”

There you have it–some viable ways to meet the challenge of maintaining a happy and productive team. Yes, by giving your employees the proper training, opportunities for career advancement, and perks that are unique to your business, you can ensure that your beavers remain eager–and that you never get saddled with a sloth.

What unique initiative have you introduced to your company to create a happy workforce?