29 Sep 2018

By Victor Lipman

Employees value managers who develop their talents.
Photo: Shutterstock

Management often complains about the lack of employee loyalty. Yet one of the simplest things managers can do to help build that loyalty is one of the most neglected: Make the effort to regularly spend time on employee development.

Studies show that employee development is highly valued and that lack of it can be a leading cause of losing young talent. This is 100% consistent with what I observed over decades in my own management experience.

In today’s business environment, replete with remote and contract workers, employee loyalty is (understandably) more tenuous than ever.

Which is exactly why managers who excel at developing their employees can be highly appreciated.

Taking a genuine interest

The irony is that developing employees takes no obscure or high-level managerial talent. Mostly it requires having a genuine interest in your employees and taking the time to understand the skills they already have, the skills they want to acquire, and where they want to go with them.

Taking a genuine interest in someone’s career and future makes a powerful statement. Employees value it. Why wouldn’t they?

<P<I know that in my own management career employees I worked with closely in this way were invariably appreciative.

Similarly, I was greatly appreciative when my own management took a serious interest in developing me.

From a management perspective, much employee development activity costs little. It’s mostly an investment of time and thoughtfulness. I know managers’ time is perennially in short supply. Fair enough. That’s one of the most common reasons employee development often falls by the wayside: “There’s just no time for it.”

A key element of employee engagement

But when you look at this rationale more closely, saying a manager has no time to invest in developing more capable employees sounds a bit odd. Even though many managers are overworked, it becomes a matter of priorities.

U.S. employee engagement numbers are chronically low, hovering in the 30% range. One powerful way to help move this needle in the right direction is make employee development a legitimate priority, and to train managers to be proficient in this regard.

If you don’t have time to help create more loyal and productive employees, what do you have time for?

Read the full article here.
This content was originally published by Forbes Magazine. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving. By Forbes Magazine

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