Why organisational success begins with employee development

People and culture initiatives need to be developed in a way that scales across the entire organisation, says Tony Tran, Lead People Scientist, Culture Amp.
By: | November 24, 2022

When it comes to workplace learning, many employees are facing a conundrum: While they recognise the importance of upskilling and reskilling in progressing their careers and making them happier and more productive workers, the rate of workplace learning, for myriad reasons, remains low.

According to a recent Randstad survey, about 97% of employees in Malaysia are interested in learning and development (L&D) opportunities, but only 36% said employers offered them training in the past 12 months.

Over in neighbouring Singapore, while most employees (73%) want to participate in both company-offered and external L&D programmes, 26% said they have not enrolled for or attended any training in the past year.

The reasons, revealed NTUC LearningHub’s (NTUC LHUB) State of Workplace Learning (SWL) Report 2022, include lack of time (52%) and heavy workload (45%), which are clear impediments to learning, said Tony Tran, Lead People Scientist, Culture Amp.

Speaking with HRM Magazine Asia, he elaborated, “Time is certainly a significant barrier that prevents employees from focusing on L&D, especially when they are expected to squeeze development into their day-to-day work or even outside of work hours.”

“If employees are time-poor, traditional manual individual development plans (IDPs), static libraries, and linear career paths that are clunky, time-consuming, and uninteresting lower engagement and ultimately drive talent out and toward other opportunities.”

Tran also identified three challenges presented by traditional approaches to talent management. Employees find a lack of motivating development opportunities and managers struggle to have meaningful growth conversations with their direct reports.

Additionally, HR teams have insufficient visibility into development activities, making it difficult for them to help managers and employees, or to demonstrate the effectiveness of L&D to leadership.

Aligning organisational success with employee development strategies

When effective employee development is not present, it is almost inevitable that organisations are facing an uphill struggle to retain their best talent.

According to exit survey responses studied by Culture Amp, employees who do not feel they have access to L&D opportunities are twice more likely to leave in the next 12 months. Employees are also likely to be more engaged, innovative, and productive when they develop skills relevant to their interests.

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“While growth and development needs are highly individual, people and culture initiatives need to be developed in a way that scales across the entire organisation.” – Tony Tran, Lead People Scientist, Culture Amp.

The challenge for people and culture teams, said Tran, is to align the growth and development of employees with the broader organisational strategy and the skills and capabilities needed to drive future success.

“While growth and development needs are highly individual, people and culture initiatives need to be developed in a way that scales across the entire organisation,” he explained.

This is where people leaders step up to lead the development conversation with employees and to co-create a learning experience by tailoring the L&D experience of every employee.

Tran continued, “This micro level of development customisation allows organisations to integrate the business context and goals with individual development. People leaders can work with their direct reports and align their L&D wants and needs with the needs of the organisation, allowing both the individual and organisation to be successful.”

Creating a motivating future for employees

While much has been said and debated around the Great Resignation and its causes, developing a successful employee development strategy is likely to go a long way towards organisations winning the war for talent.

To help organisations embark on their employee development journey, Culture Amp is offering an easy and guided approach to employee development through its Develop solution, which helps retain, grow, and upskill employees with personalised development plans and goals setting for ongoing growth.

Tran highlighted, “Employees can set and update development goals in the platform and managers can celebrate their progress in in performance reviews. By making growth clear, actionable, and rewarding, organisations can help employees and their managers paint a clear future for growth.”

Develop is also designed to empower managers to support employee development by providing an easy and guided approach to more meaningful and frequent growth discussions.

With the tools provided by Develop, managers can better understand what motivates their direct reports and more effectively identify key development opportunities. When priorities or goals change, managers and employees can easily access development plans to make changes.

“By upskilling your managers on the skills they need to help their direct reports, and ensuring a consistent development planning experience, you enable both parties to meaningfully grow,” Tran said.

Develop also allows the effectiveness of L&D to be measured, or as Tran described, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

He added, “Develop makes it possible to track development initiatives and show positive impact. Using Develop, organisations can access a consolidated view of development activity, development impact, and development insights.”

Click here to find out how you can grow and retain your people with Culture Amp’s Develop.