What is employee development and how can we use HR software such as performance management software to facilitate it?

Sometimes, in order to truly get value from our performance management processes and advance our companies, we need to go back to basics. As HR executives, we need to question basic HR principles such as employee development, what it is, why it’s important and how modern performance management software can be used to facilitate employee development.

That’s exactly what we aim to cover in this blog, and we’ll explain how Clear Review performance review software can be best used to engage, motivate and inspire your employees to excel beyond expectations.

What is employee development?

If you work in HR and you are up to date with the latest news and performance management trends, you’ll know that there is an increasing focus on employee development, prompting the release of a number of informative articles. But what exactly is employee development?

Put simply, employee development is the learning, training, and development undertaken by employees in order to provide them with specific knowledge, skills and competencies that will not only help them to improve performance in their given roles but will also help them to advance within the company and further their careers.

Why should you care about employee development?

Now we have a clear idea as to what employee development is, we need to understand why it’s so critical to a modern, forward-thinking organisation.

Unfortunately, employee development is all too often neglected in today’s businesses, but the costs can be disengagement, frustration and high staff turnover. When companies choose not to focus on employee development, it is often because managers insist there isn’t sufficient time for it. On other occasions, companies begin to put an employee development plan in place, but such plans are never actually acted upon, rendering them a redundant, time-wasting exercise.

It should be noted, however, that well-planned and structured employee development efforts can have hugely beneficial side-effects, such as an increase in productivity, engagement, and morale. Employees want to learn, they want to advance and they generally receive a huge sense of satisfaction knowing that their employers actually care about their futures. Employee development can also help to enhance employee understanding of their own responsibilities and their role within an organisation.

Use performance management software to organise regular one-on-ones

In order for employee development to remain a focus, it needs to be frequently readdressed. Simply discussing employee development in an annual appraisal won’t work. Instead, consider shifting to continuous performance management and implementing monthly one-on-ones.

Such regular meetings will allow manager and employee to discuss progress, achievements and areas that could be improved. This will help structure employee development, it will keep everyone up to speed and it will ensure personal development objectives don’t get forgotten. In fact, research by Mind Gym has shown that regular, constructive feedback sessions are the most effective tool when it comes to ensuring performance goals and personal development objectives are successfully delivered.

You can use performance management software to manage regular one-on-ones and capture the outputs.  Remember: to make these performance discussions motivational, you should give the employees the autonomy to ‘own’ their own performance check-ins and let them take the lead on what will be covered in the meetings. Of course, if you feel the meetings aren’t productive or helpful, as the manager, you can help guide the conversations. You can use our free one-to-one meeting template as inspiration.

Use performance management software to track personal development objectives

After the manager and employee have met, discussed and agreed upon specific and relevant personal development objectives, employees will feel motivated to take accountability and deliver on them. However, to keep them fresh in the minds of everyone involved and track progress, it is useful to make use of cloud-based software, with which employees can set specific personal development objectives and performance goals.

These objectives are then visible and by all relevant staff members, and HR can report on personal development objectives from across the organisation to feed into their learning and development planning.

Employees will be able to update progress on their objectives in real-time. Giving employees access to online tools can help them keep their manager up to date and help them plan out any and all necessary actions required to achieve their goals. In addition, managers will be able to check in to make sure there are no issues and to offer help and extra training if necessary.

Everyone involved should be focused on delivery. Ensure employees have learning and development materials and resources in place that enable employees to successfully achieve their personal development goals. Remember: companies thrive and succeed when their employees are motivated and enthusiastic about their futures. All we need to do is give them the tools and encouragement to succeed.

To find out more about how Clear Review’s employee appraisal software can help you with employee development, get in touch to arrange a free personal performance management software demo.