Eight Effective Ways To Support Your Employees In Building Their Skills


A great employee shows up to work each day ready and willing to do their best work for your business. It’s only fair that, as their employer, you support their professional development—especially if these skills will help them grow within your company.

If an employee expresses interest in learning new skills, it’s crucial that you show them you have their back. Below, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members explained how to encourage your team members’ professional development initiatives. Follow their advice to create an environment where employees are eager to grow and learn.

1. Offer Bonuses

We are a professional services firm with many employees who aspire to become Certified Public Accountants. We offer a bonus for employees who pass all four sections of the exam. Several of our team members have already passed the CPA exam, so if they have any questions or need guidance, we will connect them in hopes of delivering a helping hand. When the employee eventually passes the CPA exam, we congratulate them as an announcement to the whole team via Slack and our All Hands meeting. This is important as it shows employees that you truly care about their success, either within or outside the business. – Jack Perkins, CFO Hub

2. Develop A Training Program

Hopefully, a training program already exists and you have a competent trainer to assist in the process. Knock that out if it hasn’t already been done. Then, follow up. A weekly one-on-one shouldn’t be that hard to fit into your schedule, and the results will normally be very positive. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

3. Set Up A Career Growth Session

Set up a career growth session to develop a long-term career plan that incorporates a mix of their interests and practical opportunities within the business. Retaining motivated talent is paramount for any company—especially in recent times. Working together on identifying areas at work that could leverage their new skills can contribute greatly to the employee’s motivation while facilitating progressive opportunities for the team. – Mario Peshev, DevriX

4. Provide Access To Educational Resources

We have a library of books on Audible and access to premium online courses available for everyone on our team. I believe you need to support your employees and show them that you’re committed to their success. If you don’t take this step, someone else will, and you’ll quickly see your turnover rate skyrocket. If you can’t invest in books or online courses, you could spend time nurturing your employees by hosting monthly webinars. Use this time to teach personal and professional growth lessons. You’ll get the chance to build rapport with your team and learn more about their interests. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

5. Personally Mentor Employees

The best thing you can do for an employee who wants to learn something new is to personally mentor and help them. This is obviously a big investment and takes a lot of time in addition to the monetary costs of any certification or professional schooling they may need. It’s worth it in the end though because you will have an employee who is not only skilled, but loyal as well. In the past, I’ve had a few employees who started off doing one thing and were able to transition into something bigger. For example, I hired a graphic designer who eventually became one of our best developers. Seeing people rise up in the company and learn new things is encouraging for everyone. – Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP

6. Make Time For One-On-One Meetings

We have one-on-one meetings where time is reserved to have more intimate conversations about each employee’s goals personally and professionally. We use SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, results-based and timely) to guide us in being specific about those ambitions. We once had an employee who started off as a receptionist and wanted to become a paralegal. She also wanted to buy her own car. She ended up doing both because we were able to find ways in the company for her to make more money and learn how to become a paralegal in the process. This growth with the company’s support made her feel seen, heard, empowered and supported throughout her ambitions. Making time to hear each person out individually in a safe space makes all the difference when it comes to company loyalty. – Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office

7. Let Your Employee Shadow Someone

One of the simplest things you can do to show that you believe in your employee’s growth is to let them shadow you or let them tag along with someone who is doing what they want to do. This gives you an opportunity to assess your employee’s fit for a new role in a real-life setting. It also lets your employee know what it’s like to really work in their area of interest. It’s not important whether an employee who’s interested in learning new things actually ends up in a role where they do this type of work. What is important is that they’ve shown initiative and you’ve given them your support. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

8. Assign Them Small Projects

One thing we do in our business is to get employees who want to learn something new to do small projects. For example, someone in marketing who wants to learn how to code is welcome to deal with easy support tickets after training. We also assign them to work with a person from another team and help them in everyday tasks. In this way, your employee doesn’t just get knowledge, they also build real-life experience that will make them an expert all the faster. – Syed Balkhi |, WPBeginner

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