Invest in My Employees? Why Bother?

Skill Source Company Limited
4 min readMar 10, 2021

Employee development is a growth plan that is created to help employees within an organization to improve their skills for their current job or to gain the requisite training for new roles within the organization.

There is a small engineering firm in Kingston Jamaica that piqued my interest with the concepts, strategic recruitment, and employee development. The firm has six engineers on staff and one draughtsman. The engineers within the firm were strategically chosen, by specialty, which ensured the firm’s viability. Once employed, they would constantly undergo training to improve their skills.

The draughtsman’s only responsibility is to make visual representations of the engineer’s designs. He is proactive, driven, self-taught, no formal training, quick learner and he would keep abreast of new software that would improve the quality of his designs.

The Managing Director proposed that he considered pursuing a degree in his current field. After all, that would be the obvious growth trajectory. However, he was not interested. He preferred getting a degree in Engineering. After working with Engineers for years, he developed a passion for it, and it was something he wanted to explore. He wanted to do Engineering so he could completely understand the concepts as opposed to just drawing.

The Managing Director was sold on the vision, paid for his degree, and now that employee is a registered engineer in Jamaica. This is a classic example of a win-win situation. The firm now has a unique competitive advantage on one hand and an employee who is loyal and motivated on the other.

We can clearly see from this scenario, the importance of investing in employee development.

So, why bother to invest in your employees?

  • People will want to work with your organization because there is room for growth and development.
  • It ultimately will help the organization to attract talented applicants.
  • It will increase the loyalty, engagement, and motivation of employees.
  • Employee performance will be improved.
  • The company will gain a competitive edge.
  • It will increase your firm’s efficiency and profitability and allows the firm to be stable enough to effectively plan for the future.
  • It prepares employees for promotions as opposed to incurring the expenses and time it will take for recruiting and onboarding.
  • It also reduces turnover and improves employee retention.

An employee growth plan should be a strategic plan. Yes, the very thought of it can seem daunting, but once managed effectively, it will yield rewarding results. There are several important steps to consider to make the plan effective:

Step one: Organizational Assessment

Think about what your organizational needs are. What does success look like to you? What are your business growth goals? The potential opportunities for increased profits? What challenges are being experienced? What do you need to remedy those challenges? Think carefully about whether you will need to strengthen your workforce, which is the core of your business.

Step 2: Individual Employee Assessment

Remember in the scenario the Managing Director thought he knew what the Draughtsman would want to study. However, after speaking with him he was on a completely different path. The development plan will be created for the entire organization, but what will make it a success, is customizing one-on-one plans for each individual. Talk to them, ask them questions like if they are interested in any other position in the organization? What are their career goals? What challenges are they experiencing, like funding, which may be hindering them from achieving those goals? This is important because at the end of the day, the aim is to ensure that everybody wins.

Step 3: Offer Practical Opportunities

Now that you know what your employees want, explore practical ways to help them to achieve those goals. This can be in the form of rigorous training like sending them overseas to learn how to use a sophisticated software to attending one day online seminars. For the employee who may want to explore accounting for example, let them shadow the accountant to get a real feel of it to see if they really want to explore that field.

Step 4: Assess the plan

There must be constant assessment of the plan on an individual and an organizational level so you can know the areas that are working and the areas that may need refining.

Again, is it worth investing in your employees? YES!

Your organization is bursting at the seams with untapped potential, filled with employees eager to gain new skills and challenges. Usually there is no need for recruiting with the right planning, training and development. Creating an employee development plan will help employees at any stage of their career. It is a rewarding feeling watching your employees and your organization grow. Why not invest in your employees today?

By: Jodi-Ann McLaughlin-Johnson, CEO, Skill Source.

For more information or to get assistance designing your employee development plan, please visit www.skillsourcepro.com or give us a call at 876–857–6600.

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Skill Source Company Limited

Skill Source Company Limited is a registered recruitment and employee development consultancy in Kingston, Jamaica.