It’s no question that a career growth and development program is essential for any Culture First company. In addition to building a more skilled workforce, development opportunities are strongly linked to higher employee engagement levels and employee retention. Not to mention that our research also found development to be a key differentiating factor when it comes to the most competitive companies.
However, this looks different based on an organization’s culture. To help guide you in the right direction, we highlighted three companies with unique approaches to employee development and what we can learn from their approaches.
One of the company values at Blueboard, an employee recognition platform focused on experiential rewards, is to “Set Ourselves Up for Success.” This means putting the right resources, training, and tools in place for their employees to be successful.
To demonstrate its dedication to employee growth and self-improvement, the company offers a $1,000 use it or lose it L&D budget per employee last year – a program they’ve seen positive results from already.
Takeaways from Blueboard’s approach
Tip #1: Use your career growth and development initiative as an opportunity to set your employees up for success
Tip #2: Gain leadership support to boost engagement in your program
Tip #3: Build excitement by investing in employee development and encouraging employees to share their experiences
It’s no surprise that the employees who thrive at LifeLabs Learning, a company that provides training to companies worldwide, are the ones who are hungry for knowledge, crave feedback, and are willing to help others grow by sharing expertise. Not only is this mindset reflected in the organization’s core value to “Always be Learning,” but is embedded into their onboarding process. Employees receive a learning plan for ongoing feedback and are matched up with a coach, so they can build a personal growth plan.
LifeLabs encourages employees to utilize their own services and participate in workshops as they interest them – on topics like feedback, strategic thinking, and prioritization. Their Expert Track program enables employees to select an area they care deeply about, such as engagement, performance reviews, diversity and inclusion, etc. then get dedicated support to develop their expertise.
Because of LifeLab Learning’s commitment to L&D, the company also dedicates significant resources to measuring the success of their programs. They collect qualitative and quantitative feedback for each program and include development questions in their engagement survey.
Takeaways from LifeLabs Learning’s approach:
Tip #1: Make the commitment to development clear from day one
Tip #2: Give employees the flexibility to choose the area they want to grow in
Tip #3: Measure the success and impact of your programs
Ellucian, a higher education technology organization with 4,000+ employees, fosters a learning culture and is committed to employee and manager development. Their team was one of the first to utilize Culture Amp’s recent Skills Coach feature, which provides short, interactive daily exercises to ensure learning and skill development is a part of their day-to-day.
Ellucian needed a way to encourage continued practice and learning over time and at scale. Embedding quick and simple learning exercises into the workflow helps employees at all levels access continuous learning opportunities. By taking an approach to training that is self-directed and scalable, Ellucian encourages employees to build the habits they need to succeed in their current role and keep growing.
Takeaways from Ellucian’s approach:
Tip #1: Make learning a daily practice rather than just a series of one-off trainings
Tip #2: Using conversational micro-learning to make it easier to absorb new information
Tip #3: Consider ways to make your existing development programs more accessible and actionable
Growth and development are key drivers of employee engagement, but there are many variables that impact engagement at different stages of growth. Read Culture Amp’s latest Company lifecycle report to understand the high-impact actions that successfully take a company and its people to the next phase of its journey.