When it comes to staffing, perhaps the only thing harder than finding the perfect employees is how to keep the talent you hire developed and engaged once they start working for you. It’s important to provide your employees with opportunities that help them achieve their full potential on the job, otherwise there’s a strong chance they will seek opportunities with companies who do more frequently. Developing employees for more responsibility and higher positions keeps employees motivated and encouraged about their relationship with the company, and also guarantees that the company is investing in developed talent that can lead the company into the future.
Here are five tactics for effectively developing your talent:

  • Performance metrics and goals: Employees need to have an understanding about the level at which they’re expected to perform and deliver realistically. Once the employee has a strong understanding of what’s expected of them, the have the chance to meet and even exceed those for a continued sense of achievement. Implementing performance metrics also helps managers keep tabs on how realistic their own expectations are of their employees, and can track how well the tasks themselves are working, which is the responsibility of an effective manager.
  • Individualized plans: Sitting down with your employee and talking about interests and goals will help you to know each other better, and will provide a roadmap for your employee that includes goals and expectations while valuing their own unique vision for their progress. Since not everyone shares the same strengths or goals, creating an individualized plan conveys your interest in this particular employee’s vision for their path forward with the company. If you invest some time in speaking with your employee about implementing a development plan, you’ll find that the likelihood for the retention and high-performance rates increases.
  • Opportunities that exceed their job requirements: In order to increase understanding of a functions outside of their own jobs as well as communication that spans each department, develop tasks for them that go outside of their typical job functions. Doing this creates the opportunity for a greater understanding of other roles within the company, more communicative and effective teamwork, an expanded repertoire of skills, and sparks curiosity and energy within the participating departments.
  • Feedback: Constructive and specific feedback is crucial when it comes to developing talent. Feedback should be given regularly, and should tie back to the metrics and individualized plan that you created with the employee, and should not be given exclusively when employee reviews are happening. Feedback allows your employee to feel that their work is actively noticed and valued, since employees want to be growing and succeeding at their jobs. Frequent feedback provides your employees with the opportunity to succeed at their work and leaves space for them to move forward and achieve more with the company in the future.
  • Provide strong resources: Though providing resources can often involve a significant time and financial investment, resources like training sessions, development activities, coaching sessions, retreats, and more can be very well worth the investment. Resources allow your employees to understand your interest in their development with the company, and providing them with the tools they need to learn and grow will only strengthen their skills and experience. These resources often lead to an extension of their professional networks, which in itself is another major resource when it comes to employee development; mentors and peers provide your employees with on-the-ground, hands-on advice and support, while also allowing for other professionals to get to know your company. The above tactics are just some to use as a blueprint when putting together a team or beginning the on boarding process with a new employee, and can all make your new hire feel valued and invested in growing alongside the company. Utilizing these tactics frequently and steadily will lead to a noticeable difference in your employee engagement and development.