Any business’s success lies in the hands of well-trained employees. In present times, due economic hardships, plans to foster employee development is usually the first thing eliminated from a company’s budget. However employee development training programs can, in the long run, result in a bigger, better, and stronger business entity. A  well-established employee program can increase motivation, efficiency, productivity levels, all while reducing costs associated with high staff turnover such as recruiting and new hire training costs. Here are some tips any business can use in order to provide an effective employee development environment.

1. Host Weekly or Monthly Lunches

Aside from regular meetings, informal gatherings are also a great way to have all employees meet and open up a useful dialogue. For example, every employee can come with a work-related or career-related topic they would like to talk about. The lunch can serve as a platform for employees to voice their thoughts and opinions as well as a place where employees can continue to learn about one another. You would be surprised how most of the time employees don’t necessarily know everyone’s roles and responsibilities. 

2. Introduce guest speakers

Motivate and inspire your employees in the workplace by either inviting a guest speaker to the headquarters or planning an outing for your employees to attend a guest-speaking event. Local platforms like TEDx are a great tool to encourage employees to connect with other people with similar aspirations and ultimately encourage them to improve on their own skills. 

3. Set a mentorship program

Partner new hires or less experienced employees with senior employees. Someone who is starting out can definitely benefit from the experiences of an employee who’s been in the company for a while. A mentorship program can provide solid advice that employees can apply to not only to their current job, but also to their overall career goals. Moreover it can alleviate the amount of new hires, for example, who may start to feel discouraged while they’re still getting used to the new job. 

4. Cross-Train Employees 

For employees who are ready to take on more responsibilities, training them in other roles can prove to be motivating and exciting. Cross-training will ensure that the company has an agile workforce and will also sharpen up or add to the employees established set of skills. Furthermore, rotating employees through different roles is a great way to have employees learn and improve continuously. 

5. Measure and Reward Success

A good employee development training program should have a structured plan that delineates a series of goals for employees to reach. Set up a measuring system than can monitor what goals have been reached and who has reached them. Once you can keep track of this, you will be able to reward employees who have “graduated” or succeeded in the different levels of training you have designed. This kind of system can continuously challenge employees to get better and better over time.