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Feb 14, 2019

Approx. 4 min. read

5 Ways to Encourage Employee Development in the Workplace

Employee engagement can have a huge impact on your company’s growth. To retain your employees as long as possible, you may want to offer them unique...

Employee engagement can have a huge impact on your company’s growth. To retain your employees as long as possible, you may want to offer them unique and helpful perks that will benefit both their development and the work they do for the organization.

In today’s competitive job market, retaining employees is more important than ever. Many companies choose to do this through enticing benefits, like flexible working hours and fully paid health insurance. But there are other perks that go beyond more vacation days or a new laptop.

Many workers today are looking to constantly increase their skills and abilities. With the average worker only staying at a job for about 4.5 years, according to Fast Company, employees are likely going to leave your organization whether or not the benefits are there. One such way to grow employee job satisfaction and engagement (which increases the likelihood they will stay with an organization) is skills training.

Below we go over five of the different ways organizations can offer skills training and learning opportunities for their employees.

Invite In-House Speakers to Run Training Sessions 

If your company is large enough, it makes sense to bring in in-house speakers for various departments of your organization to give private training sessions. This type of learning has a wealth of benefits for employees, as they are in a more intimate setting and can ask questions directly. This is also often more affordable than taking a group of employees to a conference or outside event.

how-to-help-employees-grow-develPrivate training can also be customized to your exact challenges and needs within the organization. Whereas at a conference, the speaker may give more generalized advice in order to reach a larger audience, with a private training, they are able to customize their presentation to your specific industry or target area.

Use an Internal Content Hub

One woefully underrated area of skills training that many organizations don’t think about is internal cross-training. Allowing employees time to train one another on specific skills and techniques has a wealth of benefits for all involved. Not only are cross-trained employees better able to cover for their co-workers during maternity/paternity leaves, vacations, or hiring gaps, they are also able to apply their new skills to projects they are already working on.

An internal content hub, like Smarp, can make internal cross-training more efficient all while encouraging innovation in the workplace. It makes it easy for employees to share what they are learning and to help one another learn the skills they need to get better at their jobs. Internal content hub posts made by employees also allow everyone to stay on the same page, even if they aren't working in the same department.

Related: 4 Ways to Use Internal Communication to Kickstart Innovation in Your Company 

A collaborative approach to training and internal communication also has many benefits to the overall work environment and company culture. When a value is placed on what every employee knows and what they can teach one another, a sense of growth and teamwork is fostered.

Get On-Demand Class Memberships for Your Employees

Another option for skills training is online learning. Whether it’s through compensation for online courses from a local university or community college, or a membership to a learning platform, online learning can bring big benefits to your team.

If there is a specific topic or technique that an employee needs to learn about, they can take a course to better develop their skills. Taking an actual course can also hold more value than simply reading a book about the topic because it requires more participation and a forum to ask questions to the instructor or class.

Recognize Your Employees’ Efforts

Of course, tangible rewards, like more vacation days or gift cards, are great benefits to give to your employees for furthering their skills in a company, but there are also more intrinsic rewards that help employees feel better about learning new skills.

One “reward” that goes a long way is public recognition and appreciation when an employee completes a training or online course. For example, sharing updates on employees' progress and achievements is a great way to show that you appreciate your employees' dedication to continued learning all while motivating others to get involved in training as well.

You can also recognize your employees’ efforts by inviting them to write their own posts about their learning experience on Smarp so they can share their experience with their colleagues. That way you encourage your staff to develop new skills and you build a culture of learning.

how-to-recognize-employees-efforMany employees also like to see their hard work rewarded with career advancement or more responsibilities. Many companies will offer a career advancement to their employees if they complete a key training in their field, such as a certification or additional degree, like a MBA.

Provide Your Employees With Better Online Tools

Finally, employees’ skills are only useful when they have a chance to be used successfully. Make an investment in your employees’ skills by making sure they have the tools that they need to succeed and to become more proficient in their area of expertise. This could be a membership to a useful software tool, like SEO research software suites for the marketing department or the latest version of Adobe Creative Suite for the graphic designers. Making the commitment to offering the best online tools for all employees ensures that they feel valued.


It’s important to make it a priority to value your employees’ continuing education and skills training. By recognizing their hard work and dedication, you are fostering an environment of collaboration, innovation, and success.

Are you looking to support your employees' professional development and improve employee engagement at your workplace? You may be interested in reading our free ebook "How to Boost Employee Engagement with Communication Tools”!

A free guide on how to boost employee engagement with employee communication tools


Written by

Kelsey Jones

Kelsey Jones

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