How to Keep Your Employees on Track – Five Employee Development Ideas

how to keep employees on track: five employee development ideas

We are currently experiencing an unemployment rate of 3.7%, the lowest in the U.S. Labor Market since 1969. Companies are struggling to hire, as well as retain, workers in their organizations. Also, a recent study of millennials performed by Qualtrics (the world’s leading experience management software provider) found that 74% of millennials who like their jobs are planning to leave them within the next three years.

Here are five employee development ideas to address this challenge and overcome the current trend for young workers to leave a company after 2-3 years.

The Solution: Always Be the First Option in Your Employees’ Minds

Companies that successfully invest in employees can influence employee attitudes and make them want to stay. They do this by developing their talent pipeline to meet their needs. The two most common approaches are to create internal retention programs, such as employee development plans, and to collaborate with external organizations that find and train talent tailored to their specific business goals.

Five Employee Development Ideas to Make Your Employees Want to Stay

An employee development program typically targets hard skills, like technical competencies, and soft skills, such as cooperation, communication and teamwork. It is critical in your company’s retention efforts, so your managers should do the following:

  1. Observe the workers performing normal duties, study their routines and identify performance problems. Do not judge. Instead, communicate openly about their plan. It’s better to start from the core of the problem.
  2. Agree and define employees’ goals and targets. As a manager, every time you feel that employees’ levels of commitment are low, you need to check their intentions, help them redefine their goals, listen to their desires and guide them in a new direction when necessary.
  3. Offer more advancement opportunities. Many employees leave their jobs because there’s no chance of upward mobility for them. Remind your employees about their career path and the advancement opportunities your company offers.
  4. Provide training for professional development. When employees are bored or feel unchallenged at work, their eyes start wandering to other companies. This is why you need to continually invest in their passions, skills development and professional certifications ̶  and be sure they are paid for by YOUR company.
  5. Foster a rich and enjoyable company culture. Happy employees are more likely to stick around. Include an “Hour of Learning” per week. In this hour, you can encourage employees to share a common interest with the team, read books about technology specific to your company’s needs, or explore their creativity.

Collaborate With External Organizations to Train Employees: An Exemplar

In 2014, the world’s second-largest toymaker, Hasbro, Inc., headquartered in Rhode Island, partnered  with Year Up to jointly launch a customized program to train young adults for sales and marketing roles within Hasbro. “These young people are such self-starters,” Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner told The Providence Journal. “They’ve taken the initiative to overcome some incredibly challenging circumstances. I think that’s what helps with retention.” As he looks at Hasbro’s talent needs, Goldner says he wants to capture the energy and insight of today’s youth and for his company’s sales and marketing team to reflect the diversity of Hasbro’s global customers. “I think we could really solve many of the issues related to our unemployment problem as a nation with a program like Year Up,” Goldner says.

Of course, if none of these ideas work, you need to get to the bottom of the problem.

Hire Smarter

When it comes to employee retention, pre-employment skills tests can help you hire the candidates that are most likely to succeed on the job and, therefore, stick with you. Nowadays, we can’t afford to let competent employees walk out the door. There is almost no guarantee the employees will stay with us “until the death do we part,” but we can hire smart by using skills assessments and then offering professional development opportunities once new employees are onboard. What methods do you implement to keep your employees on track and create an employee development plan in accordance with their needs?

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Eric Friedman

Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of Web-based skills testing for pre-employment and training. Since 2003, has tested millions of job candidates for organizations worldwide such as Zappos, ADP, Coca-Cola, Randstad, and GE. With academic degrees in Psychology and Business and experience with both mature and expansion-stage company growth, Eric has focused on how to hire and motivate team members to be the best they can be for their companies.

Reader Interactions


  1. Rachel says

    Thanks for shedding light on something that I think a lot of companies struggle with, Eric. I’ve definitely noticed that employees just don’t stay with their employer as long as past generations. Here at Lessonly, we recently revamped how we outline department and employee objectives, and I really think it keeps everyone engaged. Not only does it show everyone that what they do directly correlates with the mission of the company, but it’s also a great way for us to track our progress against goals and targets. We set these at the beginning of every quarter and review them during bi-weekly meetings so we all know where our performance stands. Keep the great tips coming!


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