It is important for managers to keep staff motivated and help them develop in their role. There are so many benefits for these. This blog will look at the best ways to keep staff motivated and how to help them develop, it will also look at the advantages for each. Strong motivation will ensure staff are less stressed and happier in their position.
All companies should encourage employees to develop in their role so that they can become better going into the future. Increasing learning opportunities for people in a business and planning training initiatives will help each person to improve. This has benefits for both the individual, as well as the organisation and employee development should be viewed as a joint venture between employee and employer.
The benefits to an organisation
Having regular training and investing time and money into employee development has a huge range of benefits for an organisation. These can include:
- Having a highly skilled workforce- By offering regular training to a workforce and investing in their progression a company will end up with a highly skilled group of employees. This means that each person will be able to carry out tasks that are more difficult and require a higher level of expertise. This improvement will be seen in all areas of the organisation as each person works to a better standard and the company is improved as a result.
- Saving time and money on recruitment- If staff are trained to carry out jobs then a business will not need to spend valuable resources employing new people with the right skills. By teaching those already at the company you will save recruitment expenses and can tailor the training that is given to perfectly suit the company’s methodology.
- Increasing commitment and staff retention- Holding back an employee that wants to move up in their career is one of the most common reasons why staff leave an organisation. By investing in their future, they will not have to leave a company in order to move up and take the next step in their career. This means that talented individuals can be retained by a company and tested with new challenges in higher positions.
- Keeping ahead of the competition- With a highly trained workforce a company can become a market leader and will usually be very aware to changes in the industry. This means that they will be the fastest to meet new demands and be the most innovative company in the market.
- Staff morale is boosted- The morale of staff will be boosted through training as they feel that the company is investing in them. Someone who feels supported and part of a team will be more likely to work harder and by taking the time to train each person you will show faith in their abilities.
The benefits to employees
There are also benefits to employees in a company when they are allowed development opportunities. These can include:
- Opportunities for promotion- A company that invests in development usually wants employees to take on more responsibility. This means that they are putting training in place so that an individual can improve and ready themselves for new opportunities.
- Higher job satisfaction- Being better at a job will encourage a higher level of job satisfaction. By completing training, you will see less mistakes being made and frustration levels in a work role will reduce.
- Better pay- Some industries will set out opportunities for improvement and once these are completed will offer more money to employees. Since a person is better qualified, they should be entitled to better pay.
- Increase in morale- When someone gives opportunities and invests in you, a sense of achievement is not far behind. This will make you feel much more motivated in your job and bring you higher satisfaction at work.
- Opportunities for the future- Even if you do not plan on staying with the same company forever, the additional training and development which you can get will help you. It may be that you gather experience and training at one company before moving on to another role elsewhere having taken full advantage of this training opportunity.
What are the different types of training and development methods?
When training new members of staff in an organisation there are a number of different methods that can be employed. Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages and will be more suited to a specific training outcome. Matching the training method with the desired results is the best way to train staff efficiently and to the highest standards.
One of the most commonly used methods of training is through lectures. This is cheap and easy to offer and can also be filtered into the working day very easily. They are clear and direct but have the drawback of not incorporating any activities or allowing people to try new skills. Lectures are best used in short bursts, as people will not be able to retain information that is given to them over many hours, and should be used when teaching about topics which do not require any practical applications.
This method is similar to lectures in that it is easy to organise and cheap but will have more input from trainees. People can ask questions and gather information from others who have a better understanding of the topic or more experience in the sector and this knowledge can be passed on effectively. Training in this way can be more tailored as trainees will only ask questions that they do not know the answers to, so there is no time lost giving information that is already known. Some drawbacks are that no practical training can take place and that some people may feel pressured and not want to participate in the same manner as others.
Simulations and role-play
Using simulations is a great way to train as it will give trainees an experience of what it is actually like to complete certain tasks. This could be done through computer simulations of software or simply through role-play in a small group. Using this method can be quite expensive though and can be complicated to set up, but it does give the best experience for trainees who will be able to learn new skills in a controlled environment where mistakes will not have a negative effect on the company.
Outward bounds training
This is usually used to test leadership and teamwork, sending staff on an outward bounds weekend requires them to camp or use different skills in the wilderness. This will be a great way to test the ingenuity of those in a company and train future managers how to handle a group. This training method can be quite expensive and difficult to organise though.
Work shadowing and mentoring
By allowing trainees to work with someone who completes tasks in a company they will quickly learn new skills. This person can take on the role of mentor, be there for the trainee to confide in and give expert advice. By having one person that helps a trainee, a strong bond will be formed which will allow the person to feel supported and benefit from a level of comfort in the training process. Some negatives are that this can create favouritisms in a group and highly successful protégés can be a target for jealous members of the team. There can also be a problem with the amount of time that a highly skilled member of staff has to give up to training new recruits, which can affect the businesses productivity.
Motivation and reward
Rewards for employees can be closely linked to their motivational needs. Getting the right rewards systems in place for employees will help them to stay motivated and carry out their job to a high level. Knowing the types of rewards that will motivate each person the most is great as you can offer them things that they really want.
It may be that some employees will be most motivated when a fuss is made over their success. In this case it is best to reward them with praise, employee of the month awards and other things that show off to those in the company how well they are doing. Other individuals will not like this approach and may be shyer when they are being rewarded. For these people it is best to reward them discretely through additional time off, presents or financial incentives.
Financial incentives are always a very good reward for staff but should be used sparingly. By offering rewards all the time they will soon lose their effectiveness so you should work to change the incentives periodically where possible to keep things fresh. Even when financial rewards are offered, these will have limitations and will not motivate people for a long time.