The world’s technology is rapidly upgrading with time. It is high time for software developers to align with the same. And here comes employee development.
Some of the top CEOs have a common objective, which is employee development. The training resulted in a better quality of projects. Consequently, this benefits both the company and its customers.
Why is it crucial to focus on employee development?
Every company executive desires to see a return on investment in the end.
Many companies claim that employee development has resulted in a better quality of work, attracting clients and their retention. As employees become more skilled, their quality of work increases, which benefits both the company and its revenue. Also, the company establishes long term collaborations and returning clients who value their technical competences.
Even more, focusing on employee development positively affects the developers and their career development. If developers work in a particular company for a long time, simultaneously building their skill set, they gain trust and experience.
How to begin with
If you want to focus on employee development, make sure that your company’s efforts align with your company’s culture.
This translates to executing techniques that support the core values of the company: exchanging knowledge between employees, ensuring their constant development, and team building.
To ensure that these values come in line with employee development, you can launch initiatives such as a mentoring program, conferences, and events. Hackathons and side projects are preferred, too.
To understand further, read below.
Under the program, divide front-end developers into groups of 5-6. These groups will work together on small projects using technology such as React Native or Firebase. Its sole purpose is to make constant learning and knowledge sharing easier.
A mentor (usually a senior dev) will supervise each group. Then, the group projects are discussed once a month in a meeting called DevTalk. This approach enhances and motivates front-end developers to learn from each other about the latest libraries, frameworks or architectures.
Hence, mentoring is an important tool for employee development.
Conferences and events
If you want to push the boundaries of your employees, ask them to speak at public conferences and attend events. This is a great way to improve one’s skills – not just the technical ones.
By being a speaker, employees are improving their public speaking skills. Moreover, speaking nurtures leadership skills and boosts self-confidence, both of which are essential to manage and lead individual teams.
When developers speak at industry events, employers should monetize them to the greatest extent possible. For instance, you can provide employees an annual conference and training budget that they can use as they seem fit. This is in line with the company’s value of constant development.
Side projects enable a developer to try out new tech, coming out of the regular work schedule.
Matter of fact, what started initially as a side project could turn out to be a useful product of its own.
Another useful advice would be to give senior devs an opportunity to work on R&D projects every two weeks. For example, executing smart office solutions. This helps them get in sync with cutting edge technology and improves creativity. Not to mention, providing cool office hacks that everyone can enjoy.
Participating in hackathons is another way to learn new tech and create exciting projects. Even more, you get a competitive spirit. It is enthralling to showcase your skills and win a competition.
You should encourage your employees to take part in different hackathons.
Otherwise, you can host coding contests internally. Here, developers will lead their own projects, evaluating the scope and tech stack. Make senior developers the product owners of the projects. Finally, award the winning project (team) with cash prizes. This will keep them and others motivated to engage in employee development.
Does employee development pay off?
Professional development is a part of the company’s culture from the very beginning. It benefits both the employees’ success and the company.
Employee development can be a useful tool for hiring new talent, as it is reported that 87% of millennial employers want candidates with updated skills and portfolios.
Also, employee development helps build good relationships between employees and the organization. It has been found that 65% of the companies who invested in employee development saw less staff turnover. One CEO says that in his 5-year old company, the average tenure period of a senior developer is around 3 years, which, according to him, is relatively high.
When you start a company, employee development should be a primary concern. From the very beginning, you should look for unique and effective ways to share knowledge between employees.
To begin with this approach, here are some things to consider:
- How much of a developer’s time can you dedicate to the purpose?
- Does your company culture support knowledge sharing?
- How much are you willing to invest in a conference and training budget?
You may even consider convincing your boss to invest in employee development and courses.
You need to talk about employee development effectively to the management. Assist them in imagining the outcome and quality of work after completion of the training. Emphasize on the expected ROI after implementing the courses. Further, you can mention and illustrate on other companies that have benefitted from employee development.
Let us see how a company may benefit from employee development programs:
- Employees are more effective in regular assignments.
- They learn new skills and create growth in new ways, or hone existing skills.
- They are updated with the latest industry trends and skills.
- Employees who have participated in employee development can share the acquired knowledge with their team
So what are you waiting for? Implement it if you haven’t.