7x7 EVP Framework, Part Six: Growth and Development

Professional and personal development is essential to a successful career — even yours as a business leader. When organisations support employees’ growth, greater job satisfaction and performance are only the beginning. Needless to say, employee growth and development have become non-negotiable. 

Incorporating development opportunities into your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) makes good business sense: it helps attract and retain the best talent and improve productivity, ultimately contributing to the success of your organisation.  

To help your employees maximise their potential, we discuss developing diverse individuals as part of a strong EVP and advise on where to start. 

Holistic employee growth and development 

Employees who feel valued and supported by their organisation will most likely remain with the company and contribute to its long-term success. DE&I initiatives are a start, but you can go further by supplementing them with a holistic approach to employee growth. That means recognising individuals’ needs for professional and personal development. 

Professional development refers to the continuous learning and skill-building activities that individuals undertake to enhance their professional competencies, advance their careers and contribute to their places of work. This typically improves job satisfaction and increases productivity, which supports the organisation on the whole.

By comparison, personal development is the ongoing process of improving oneself through learning, self-reflection and taking action to achieve goals and maximise one's potential. Growth in this area deepens emotional intelligence, particularly an individual’s self-awareness and communication skills. This leads to more productive workplace relationships and stronger resiliency.

Why does employee growth concern EVP Strategy?

Incorporating growth and development into an organisation's EVP strategy can effectively attract and retain top talent. In today's competitive job market, opportunities for growth and development can powerfully differentiate your organisation from competitors and attract the best candidates.

Articulating how you develop your people is also a fundamental element of your EVP. What is suitable for one may not be right for another — especially across the generational gap present in some businesses.

Different generations in the workplace often have their preferences and priorities for professional development. These differences can be attributed to a variety of factors, including unique values, expectations and life experiences.

  • Baby boomers, for example, tend to prioritise professional development opportunities that focus on leadership and management skills as they often hold senior positions and are focused on succession planning. They may also prefer more traditional forms of professional development, such as in-person training or conferences..
  • Generation X, on the other hand, tends to be more self-directed and independent in their professional development. They may prefer flexible and technology-enabled learning options, such as online courses and webinars, that allow them to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule.
  • Millennials and Generation Z, who have grown up in the digital age, tend to value continuous learning and skills development more than previous generations. A lack of growth opportunities can be a deal-breaker. 
    • They are also more likely to prefer informal and experiential learning opportunities, such as mentorship programs and job rotations, that allow them to acquire new skills on the job and learn from their peers.

To effectively engage and retain talent, organisations must consider these generational differences in their employee learning and development strategies. This may involve offering a mix of formal and informal learning opportunities, incorporating technology-enabled learning options and providing opportunities for mentoring and on-the-job learning. By doing so, organisations can ensure they meet the diverse professional development needs of the multi-generational workforce.sign-up-cta

Solving employee development in hybrid work

Offering professional development to your workforce is particularly important in a world of hybrid working and remote work. The reasons are as follows:
  • Remote work can often result in isolation and disconnection from colleagues, which can reduce productivity and motivation. Providing professional development opportunities helps counteract this, as employees can connect and develop their skills together.
  • In a hybrid work environment, employees may have different working arrangements and schedules that make consistent training and development challenging. By offering a mix of virtual and in-person learning opportunities, organisations can ensure employees access the training they need, regardless of location or working hours.
  • In a remote work environment, employees may need to adapt to new technologies and ways of working. This can be challenging without appropriate support and training. Providing professional development opportunities can build the skills and knowledge remote workers need to be effective, such as in remote collaboration tools, time management and cybersecurity.
On the whole, employees should feel supported and valued by their organisation regardless of where they work and are located. Keep this top of mind when designing your EVP strategy.

EVP Framework: laying groundwork for growth

Next, here are seven top tips for building and managing an effective employee learning and development strategy for your organisation:

  1. Identify business needs. Start by identifying the knowledge, skills and competencies critical to the success of your organisation. This can help you prioritise the areas you need to invest for professional development.
  2. Create a culture of learning. Encourage a culture of continuous learning and development by providing opportunities for employees to develop new skills and knowledge, share best practices and learn from one another — amplifying your effort.
  3. Set clear goals and objectives. Establish clear goals and objectives for professional and personal development, both for the organisation as a whole and for individual employees. This way, everyone works toward a shared set of goals and progress is tracked and measured.
  4. Provide a range of learning options. Offer a range of learning options, such as online courses, webinars, in-person training, mentoring and coaching, to cater to diverse learning styles and preferences.
  5. Encourage self-directed learning. Encourage employees to take ownership of their learning and development by providing them with the tools and resources they need to learn independently, such as access to online learning platforms or a library of professional development resources.
  6. Provide feedback and recognition. Provide regular feedback and recognition to employees for their progress and achievements in their professional development. This can help motivate them to continue learning and growing.
  7. Evaluate and adjust your strategy. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your professional development strategy and make adjustments as needed based on feedback and results. Doing so ensures your strategy remains relevant.

Bringing it all together

Providing professional and personal development opportunities mutually benefits individuals and organisations by strengthening their competitiveness. Most importantly, crafting an EVP must factor in varied learning preferences and priorities of multi-generational workforces. Your solutions have to be people-first. Remember that, and employees will be more engaged and productive, and your organisation will be equipped to thrive. 

In our final post, we discuss how a well-rounded remuneration and benefits program is the last valuable piece in developing your EVP.


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