Developing Your People Pays Big Dividends
When century-old British retailer Marks & Spencer launched its “Your M&S” campaign to keep ahead of emerging competition, its people had to adjust to many significant changes in product development, organisational structure, and even daily routine. The employees, who now had bigger responsibilities, needed to be more equipped to respond to new business needs, so the company invested heavily in activities such as competency profiling, personal development planning, coaching, and on-the-job and off-the-job training. The result? M&S continues to be one of the leading retail brands globally.
While it entails cost, people development is worth every cent. First of all, it equips people with the necessary skills for the job at hand, which means less mistakes and supervision. When exposed to regular coaching, people become more adaptable to changing trends, which increases their confidence at handling any challenge served to them.
Achieving proficiency at a set of skills also opens new learning opportunities, producing a well-rounded, engaged, and cooperative team. When people learn about other aspects of the business, they become more involved and willing to contribute because they have a greater appreciation of the process and the role of each person in it. Multi-skilled people are keener to handle responsibilities outside their area of work, the resulting effect is an increase in team spirit–with productivity–increases.
Perhaps one of the most noteworthy effects of investing in staff skills upgrading is increased retention. One study says that 40% of workers quit within the first year, citing poor job training and development as the primary reason for leaving. When people go, the company pays a high price: Not only does it spend again for recruitment and training, it also pays overtime fees just so productivity will not slip while it finds a replacement. A person who is under the company’s employee improvement program feels more valued and is highly likely to stay.
Developing your people makes perfect business sense, therefore staying updated on the latest trends in staff development is an imperative to being ahead of the game. An executive development survey revealed that a big percentage of senior management understands the importance of getting external assistance for employee training and development and admitted to being coached.