Since 2016, Afghan Wireless has invested in its employees by offering a diverse range of education and professional development programs. Through initiatives ranging from seminars on how to cope with anxiety to scholarship assistance programs, Afghan Wireless employees have the opportunity to hone their current talents, learn new skills, and become not just better professionals, but better people.
Faced with everyday pressures and challenges, it’s all too easy for companies to put employee development on the back burner, or to forgo it altogether. But companies like Afghan Wireless know that employee development isn’t an optional luxury. It’s an essential part of running a successful, long-lived business.
Read on for six of the most important reasons why companies should make investing in employee development a priority.
1. It helps attract and retain great employees.
Employee retention is one of the biggest challenges faced by today’s employers. High employee turnover can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. Having to replace departing employees on a regular basis costs money, time, and effort. This makes it difficult for companies to achieve the kind of stability that is essential for ongoing progress.
But companies that are willing to invest in employee development are a step ahead when it comes to attracting and holding on to great employees. Job-seekers are more likely to prioritize companies that value their employees enough to provide them with opportunities for growth. Current employees are more likely to remain loyal to a company that has demonstrated, in practical terms, that it is invested in their futures.
2. It improves your company’s reputation.
Showing that you value employees enough to invest in their development can give your company’s reputation a major boost. Prioritizing employee development improves how your company is perceived by current and prospective employees. It also influences how customers see you.
Today’s customers are increasingly wanting to support companies that are socially and ethically responsible. Being able to show that you care for your employees and want them to benefit from development opportunities can give your company a competitive edge in the market.
3. It primes employees for advancement.
Business experts agree that whenever possible, it’s best to fill management and other upper-level roles in your company from within your existing talent pool. After all, current employees are already familiar with your day-to-day business, your customers, and the direction your company is headed. This gives them a huge advantage over external candidates.
But to make this strategy both possible and feasible, it’s necessary to invest in proper employee development programs. Such programs will build your pool of capable workers, who will then be ready for these kinds of promotions when they become available.
Additionally, employee development programs will help you identify employee strengths and weaknesses. Any weaknesses can then be addressed before, rather than after, an employee moves up the chain of command.
4. It boosts employee engagement.
Engaged employees make the difference between a good company and a great one. When employees are engaged at work, they are more productive, more invested in their tasks, and more likely to fulfill their responsibilities to the best of their abilities.
Employees who are bored or disengaged, on the other hand, all too easily succumb to negative attitudes and bad work habits. This can seriously damage relationships with colleagues and customers.
Fortunately, studies have repeatedly shown that investing in employee development is one of the most important things companies can do to boost employee engagement. Development programs help prevent employees from feeling stagnant in their jobs. They also offer the room to grow and take on new challenges that is a key aspect of engagement.
5. It makes financial sense.
Creating and operating employee development programs entails a significant upfront financial investment. This is one of the main reasons why many employers avoid it. But over the long term, employee development is one of the smartest financial decisions a company can make.
The well-trained and confident employees that employee development programs help produce are like money in the bank. They are more productive and efficient, which saves your company money. They’re also more likely to help increase sales and output, thus boosting your earnings.
If the cost of employee development has you hesitating, it’s time to shift the way you think about it. It’s not an expense, it’s an investment.
6. It helps future-proof your company.
One of the benefits of prioritizing employee development is that it forces your company to think about the future and plan accordingly. Many companies are so focused on the challenges of everyday business that they’re simply not able to think about where they’re going.
But companies focused on employee development are constantly asking questions about the future path of their business. This is an important advantage when it comes to overall strategic planning.