For young talent, deciding on which university to attend and where to live post studies, is a very complex decision. Similarly, choosing between a big corporate or a small business environment is equally challenging. As a business owner, you need to plug into these difficult decisions and figure out how to attract great employees as well as retain them through growth and development strategies. When approached in a mindful way, you can create a strong employee growth and development plan which aligns with their individual career goals and simultaneously invests in these alongside your business’s long-term objectives. 

Understanding an employee growth and development strategy

This is an important plan put together by both the employee and employer. It forms a roadmap for what the employee wants to achieve over time and creates an action plan to help employees take incremental steps to upskill in relation to steady salary increases. 

This creates a guaranteed career progression and provides employees with a strong sense of security. This strategic succession planning really helps staff feel like they are being invested in and that there is a joint vision for their contributions. It also ensures that the company is de-risked from talented employees leaving for greener pastures.

Why are these growth plans essential in SME environments?

Competition is stiff when it comes to attracting and retaining talent in SMEs. This is why SMEs need to be proactive in this space. When you invest in the talent in your business you immediately gain a competitive advantage, reduce staff turnover, create a strong and supportive company culture, attract and retain high-quality candidates. 

What does an employee growth and development strategy look like?

Job shadowing

This is great for younger or more inexperienced employees who need more experience in the workplace. In a job shadowing set-up, they are able to observe others within the environment and learn from more experienced team members. This will also give them a lot of insight into what is expected of them and how to troubleshoot any problems which may arise. Further to this, job shadowing empowers employees within the business to create networks and develop cross-functional relationships. This is really useful if one team member suddenly takes leave and the other can then fill in at short notice. 

On-the-job training

This is a great way to encourage on-the-job learning, to upskill and give staff practical knowledge about different areas in the business. This in turn shows them where there is room to grow and they can then test the waters locally instead of seeking opportunities elsewhere. 

Coaching and mentoring

Team leaders have a responsibility to their staff to support employees and help them reach their full potential. Coaching can be spearheaded with the aim of developing skills on a technical level as well as growing staff with soft skills like conflict resolution, resilience and critical thinking.

The bottom line

When you invest in your staff, you achieve way more than simply growing your business. You are actually future-proofing your business with a strong sustainability plan built on the people who work there. Rather than getting caught up in everyday tasks and admin, focus on your people and how you are going to grow them alongside your business. In this way, you are not only in the business of growing your SME, but you are also in the business of growing the people you work with. When people feel like they are being invested in in an authentic way it creates a win-win scenario for everyone: owner, employee and the business itself. 

New call-to-action
New call-to-action


Related Articles