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Posted 08/25/2016

Proven Value for Manufacturers to Develop Staff from Within: Part II

When you define career development as the ongoing acquisition or refinement of skills and knowledge, it includes job mastery and professional development that exceeds the scope of the employee’s job description. With this mindset, it is difficult not to see the advantages, which an employee career development plan can provide. Plus, if you want to answer your firm’s shortage of talent by developing your employees, you’re headed in the right direction. Last week we established why employee development is essential. Today and next week MPS Technical, a staffing agency with more than 20 years assisting the manufacturing industry with finding skilled, qualified talent, tells why a staffing development plan pays off via this Q and A. Section A: Q. Why should organizations invest in the training and development of their employees? A. Organizations that do invest in their employees are often healthier than those who don’t. They benefit by having stronger talent pools, increased retention, lower turnover rates, and improved employee satisfaction. All good results. Q. Aren’t staffing development programs expensive? A. The American Society for Training and Development estimates employers spent upwards of $156 billion on employee learning and development in 2013. Findings also state mature companies spend about 30 percent more and earn a profit growth triple of their competitors. Based on this information, it seems costlier not to implement a training program. Q. How does a firm begin a development program? A. One way is to develop a catalog as a resource to tell employees about training opportunities. A catalog is comprised of categories of training and development activities such as basic skills; professional skills; technical training; and supervisory skills - all which are meant to become part of an employee’s personal development plan. Make sure the developing skills have a long “shelf-life”, so they do not become quickly outdated. Think “flexibility.” It is why customizing plans per employee makes sense. Also, a firm’s support for a development program is essential. If employees feel a lack of support, their motivation will fizzle. Q. What are some guiding principles for career development programs? A. The plan should have accountability and performance measures in place as well. Be sure it provides opportunities outside of the current job function. Include constructive feedback (not chiding or criticizing) which is tied specifically to data or examples. If your firm maintains a rigid hierarchy, you may need to remove barriers and implement a more open work environment. It can be helpful, too, to link to a professional network, mentors or coaches. Some organizations also build DVD or online video libraries of training materials. Some host lunch-and-learns. Tune in again for more on this subject. MPS Technical continues answering questions regarding career development programs in Section B of this article next week. Meanwhile, why not contact MPS to discuss your leadership program, or how we can help you find the best talent to fit your needs. Contact us today.