Do you have an employee that always shines at whatever they do and is a reliable self-starter, but tends to take a backseat in meetings? Many managers have those “stars” that they wish they could duplicate within their organization, but they aren’t seeing leadership potential yet. It may only take a course or two to develop a hidden leadership talent and help that employee shine their light on others in your company.
Many employees have hidden talents that their current positions might not make evident. What happens when management doesn’t have leadership development programs in place, is that sometimes that hidden potential that could greatly enhance an organization goes untapped. Opportunities might also be lost to foster employee loyalty and retention, simply because someone doesn’t feel fully utilized in their position.
I know of a “star” employee who worked at a large real estate organization. Right away the managers took notice due to her work ethic and high quality output. She was able to accomplish more in one day than others in that position usually accomplished in a week. But after working there for a few years, she became bored, there was no program to develop her talents. She always asked her co-workers and bosses if there was something else she could do, but was told “not right now.” She finally ended up leaving for a more rewarding position in a company that was happy to utilize all her talents and that nurtured her through a leadership training program.
In this article we are going to delve a bit further into how to retain great employees and how to use training and development courses to find their hidden talents. It is vital in today’s corporate world to retain your star employees as well as to cultivate new ones, and this can be done when you take an active interest in their career growth path.
How to Find Hidden Talents in your Staff
You may not realize that you have people working for you with untapped skills. Often someone can be hired for a particular position, like Shipping Coordinator for example, and it is only found out through accident that that person has a talent for sales, simply because they answered the phone and spoke with a customer when no one else was around.
You can put some easy systems into place that will help you find these overlooked talents, which makes for a happier and more fulfilled employee as well as offers your company numerous benefits.
Some ways you can find hidden talents are:
Cross training of staff not only ensures that during an unexpected absence you have someone who knows how to do a vital task as a backup, it’s also a great way for employees to experience a different area of your organization, one that perhaps they are a perfect fit for.
Invite Other Departments To Brainstorm Meetings
While you may not normally think to invite your receptionist or accounting person to a marketing brainstorming meeting, you may be surprised at the great ideas when you start inviting people from other departments to help brainstorm the newest marketing campaign. It’s a great way to uncover new ideas and creative minds.
Add a Dream Sheet to Performance Reviews
When you do your regular employee performance reviews, add in a “Dream Sheet” where you ask if the employee could be working in any position in the company next year, which would they choose. Some may be happy where they are, but you can also uncover some hidden talents based upon the other area of your company that they would love to work in.
The Suggestion Box has been around for over 100 years, but it’s an idea that never goes out of style. Many companies not only find profitable ideas suggested by their employees but also insight into their staff’s hidden talents.
Offer Some Choices for Development Courses
If you offer a variety of personal development and employee training courses, and allow your employees to choose beyond only those which are required for their current position, you will be giving them a path to success in an area they’ve been wanting to learn and a way to shine a light on untapped talents.
Why Employee Training and Development Is Important
There is an excellent article from Forbes Magazine by Victor Lipman that provides some important details on why employee development is important but often neglected. They key takeaways are:
- Companies tend to focus on the “here and now” rather than the future.
- Some programs are mazes of bureaucracy that only track goal metrics not actual growth of employees.
- It’s not at the top of the priority list, so often no one “has time” for ongoing staff training.
- Employees engage and grow more if your program and managers take a genuine interest in their future.
- An employee development plan builds loyalty and retention, and loyalty increases productivity.
- Talented people naturally want to advance, and as they advance through leadership training they increase the value of your organization.
- Leadership development programs do not have to be expensive – We make it easy at Pro Learning Hub to start corporate training programs affordably.
Employee Retention Saves You Big in Retraining Costs
Many organizations haven’t put a hard cost estimate on retraining new employees when others have left. But we all know what it’s like to lose someone valuable, with years of experience in an organization. It can take years to get someone to the same level as that departing staff member. Therefore, employee retention isn’t only about fostering loyalty and nurturing growth in your staff, it also positively impacts the bottom line of your organization.
Hiring and training a new employee can be very expensive and time consuming. And in the meantime, their position typically is not operating at peak efficiency. According to an article by the Houston Chronicle, The Sasha Corporation averaged results from 15 studies that determined average cots of replacing just a lower level $8.00 US per hour employee, and found the average cost for replacement to be $9,444.49 US per turnover.
If you look at higher skilled positions, the article estimates an average of $40,000 US to retrain a nurse and more than $125,000 US per vacancy to retrain technology workers. The Society for Human Resource Management’s Jim Dooney estimated the costs to be about 38 percent of an employee’s annual earnings to replace them, in addition to lost productivity and disruption in workflow during the process.
So, when you look at the hard numbers to replace an effective employee, keeping them from leaving in the first place moves much higher on most organization’s priority list, and employee training and development course are a huge factor in retaining skilled “stars” in your company.
Ways to Retain Your Employees – Happy Employees = Productive Organization
There are a number of things you can do to keep those valuable employees that you spend time finding and training and that are a vital part of your organization. Often it’s simply a lack of communication or lack of growth and advancement opportunities that cause employees to seek other opportunities.
You don’t have to have the most well stocked cafeteria in the world (although it doesn’t hurt) to keep good employees, you just need to create a place where they have good direction, can feel they are making an important contribution and have the opportunity to grow.
Here are a few things you can do to improve employee retention:
Offer Competitive Salary Packages
No matter how loyal an employee is, if you are lagging behind the competition in your employee compensation, they may have no choice but to go elsewhere.
Provide Small Perks
Small perks let employees know they’re appreciated. These can simply be free donuts or pizza on Friday or giving an employee their birthday off. Get creative. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but a little thoughtfulness goes a long way.
Keep Workers Motivated With Incentives
Sales incentives are standard in most organizations, but what about doing something for the whole team? Incentive programs where everyone gets to play a part, like safety or a contest for a new product slogan, can really boost moral and improve retention.
Foster Employee Development
Offering leadership training and other types of employee development is not only smart for any company that wants to invest in a great team, but it also allows employees to grow in multiple areas, such as soft skills or IT or risk management. Employees tend to stay loyal to a company that takes an active interest in their ongoing development.
Communicate Clearly and Listen Too!
Employees can be set up to fail when their managers do not clearly communicate their duties and when they don’t stop to listen to feedback. By putting regular “check-ins” in place where employees can offer ideas, ask questions, or voice concerns, ensures your employee feels like a valued team member.
In the long run, the time and thought put in up front on systems to both identify hidden talents and retain your employees is a good business decision. It will save you thousands in retraining costs and lost productivity, but will also foster a spirit of loyalty and family among your employees, which is what makes a company great.
If you would like to learn more about employee training and development courses, just contact Pro Learning Hub today to get started.