Why is Talent Development Important?

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What is Talent Development?

Your employees are truly your most valuable asset, but how can you develop their talent and help them be satisfied in their roles? How can you invest in your employees and lower the chances of them leaving for other opportunities? Talent development may seem self-explanatory, but many organizations struggle with it. Others are nervous that if they train their employees and help them advance in their careers, they’ll be more likely to leave. Talent development is an increasingly important aspect of running a business, and not investing in your employees is guaranteed to create disengaged workers and low retention rates.

Why is Talent Development Important?

It is more expensive and more productive to retain your employees as opposed to constantly hiring and training new ones. The turnover of a trained experienced can cost anywhere from 90% to 200% of their annual salary. Here are a few additional advantages to investing in talent development.

Gain a Competitive Advantage in Hiring Talent

The hotel and casino Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, NV turned to Instructure to implement Bridge as part of their talent development program. HR leaders at the Casino were finding it hard, and sometimes painful, to stick out in the saturated market of Las Vegas’s hotel and resort industry. Hiring top talent and keeping experienced staff was an ongoing priority. Golden Nugget pondered over how could they better ensure a great customer experience? They needed a solution that would deliver on the promise to employees of creating a great culture, while also building with employee experience in mind to help each individual develop their unique talents and career drivers. Implementing a talent development program helped Golden Nugget collect valuable data for their HR team, and they ultimately saw increased employee relationships and retention through a vast culture change.

Increase Employee Retention

Employees leave companies where they do not feel needed or feel like they are stuck in their job. Emphasizing talent development makes employees feel that your organization is invested in their short- and long-term goals. By helping employees focus on their career journey, they’ll feel more engaged and satisfied. With talent development strategies, you are able to actively fight against the most common reasons employees leave their job.

Fire up Employee Engagement

Talent development directly impacts how each employee sees themself as part of your company. Rather than just being part of the system and overlooked, talent development strategies give new and veteran employees a way to engage with each other, as well as with the company as a whole. For the employee, talent development gives them regular performance feedback and one-on-one coaching. Engaging with others, especially a more experienced mentor, creates relationships of trust for their coworkers and the company as a whole. That sense of community and relationship will help retain employees.

Build a Winning Talent Development Program

Using a talent development program takes time and dedication, but there are powerful tools available to help you achieve your goals. For each company, it’s a different path, and it’s important to see what others have done to find what works best for you. Drawing on our experience working with thousands of customers, here are nine talent development best practices that could help you reach your goals: 

Include Continuous Feedback

Golden Nugget didn’t want tasks and assignments to be one-and-done; they wanted to reinforce a culture that was continually growing and developing its process with achievements, virtual teams, and digital assignments.

Build a Sense of Unity

Part of Golden Nugget’s solution included a focus on employee development that connected each individual employee’s development with the reset of the organization. By aligning company-wide quarterly and yearly goals with employees’ individual goals, employees were encouraged to connect to the overall mission of the company. This helped employees see how they were directly helping the company as a whole and empowered them to develop meaningful relationships with all team members. Ultimately, everyone was progressing in the same direction with a sense of shared purpose.

Offer Flexible and Centralized Support

In Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps, employees are constantly busy. The Golden Nugget needed a talent development program flexible enough to accommodate employees’ schedules, and with plenty of support from a centralized platform and team that would be reachable throughout the day. As an employee development platform that helped reinforce their talent development program, Bridge gave them the flexibility and support they needed.

Leverage Learning Data

As part of your talent development, you need to be able to see how each of your employees, teams, and your company as a whole is performing, all at a single glance. Reporting, backed by powerful analytics helps you stay up-to-date on your company’s progress, as well as each individual’s learning engagement. Insights from you learning data highlight employees’ success as they navigate your talent development program, while identifying areas of improvement. Harnessing analytics and data to help call out weak points in your process making it easier to overcome challenges and find actionable solutions. Being able to effectively manage your learning data lets you create a culture of learning and leverage it toward growth and development in your company.

Keep the Talent Happy

When your employees leave, you are losing the experience and talents that they brought to the company. Training a new employee to fill their role can cost over $4,000 for each employee before they’re up to speed. Retaining your employees while keeping the talent they bring to your company can save you thousands. Instructure partnered with Training Magazine Network to provide a webinar to help you know how to keep the talent happy. The webinar covers how you can best retain your employees through a cyclical process of setting goals, learning from those goals, recognizing achievements and development, and assessing that growth to lead back to more goals.

Offer Specific Career Development Training

Actively and aggressively offering career training and development is a great way to retain and engage employees. Using a learning management system as part of that process is important to be able to track, manage, and report the progress of each employee. The more education and training you provide your employees, the more potential there is for growth and development, which increases their involvement and retention.

Tie Performance Management into Talent Development

Typically, managers meet with employees regularly to discuss performance (or at least they should be). These meetings present a great opportunity to foster and encourage talent development in your employees. If a manager is only focused on providing feedback directly related to an employee’s day-to-day job, the employee will have a hard time learning from and applying feedback to future projects. They won’t see the meeting as a learning opportunity to improve their talents, but rather a time in which they get lectured about their mistakes. Talent development takes advantage of teaching moments in performance reviews. Managers can help employees identify where there may be room for growth, and point them in the direction of the available resources within the talent development program. They follow up with employees on progress, and they help set weekly, monthly, quarterly – even yearly goals. By including talent development as part of the performance management conversation, employees will feel more connected to management and more invested in their personal development and growth within your company.

Use a Variety of Learning Solutions

How you actually execute on the learning and development of your employees can be a monumental challenge for organizations of all sizes. For many companies, the L&D team is new, small, or potentially not even there. For RetireAustralia, it was a team of one: their L&D director, Murray Humphrey.

RetireAustralia had a dream of being a leader in its field through a people-centric focus. Mr. Humphrey was able to create and support a learning culture through focusing on two things: 

  1. A 70-20-10 learning scheme
  2. Bite-sized manager training

70-20-10 learning is when 70% of the learning is done through experience, 20% through interacting, and 10% through formal courses. Bite-sized manager training involves small and accessible training sessions that can be completed in under an hour. This provides your managers with training in quick and effective bites that are more accessible than a day long seminar, which they can then use to lead their teams.

With Humphrey’s focus on learning and development, RetireAustralia was able to reach their goals and create the company culture they wanted.

Drew Stinger

Drew Stinger

Drew has been immersed in the learning technology space for over six years and has loved every minute of it. From working in global ad agencies (McCann Erickson), and professional sports organizations (go Jazz!), and now in learning technology, Drew has gained valuable insights in the world of managing teams, clients, and peers. Drew loves enabling individuals and teams to have more open, effective conversations centered around connection, alignment and growth and has seen the impact it can have on employee satisfaction and productivity. Skiing, biking, netflix-ing (that’s a word right?), and being a remote working dad, are just a few of his passions!

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