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  • Writer's pictureKristen Theisen

Five Reasons to Invest in Employees

Components of personal growth

Investing in personal and professional development programs for employees is a worthy endeavor, yet it’s often overlooked. Below are five reasons why leaders should make employees a priority.


1. Avoid burnout or "burn-on"

Stressed employee

With the Covid-19 pandemic behind us, business stakeholders want to see greater impact, efficiencies, and measurable outcomes, yet staff remain stressed and overwhelmed. There is constant pressure to do more with the same resources or less. It’s draining, no matter how passionate someone is about the company's product, service, or mission.


In fact, German psychiatrist Timo Schiele and psychotherapist Dr Bert te Wildt coined the term "burn-on" in a book they co-authored. They define "burnout" as acute depressive exhaustion, while "burn-on" is chronic, according to a 2023 Forbes article. Burn-on can result in burnout, as sufferers underestimate their condition. They downplay their fatigue and emotional fragility, or attribute this to factors other than work. Eventually, it all catches up with them and job performance suffers or they quit. This result can be mitigated with programs that provide methods for coping with stress, strengthening relationships, and improving self-awareness.


 2. Improve Engagement

Research has shown that people who feel that their employers prioritize employee growth and development show higher levels of engagement and work happiness. While increased pay or added vacation time can ease staff dissatisfaction, it isn’t always realistic and can be a temporary fix. Employees want to feel valued and appreciated. An article on Forbes.com stated that the fast-growing population in today’s workforce, Generation Z, “seeks meaning and personal growth in their work.” Not only do personal development initiatives benefit the employee, but they foster team building that leads to improved performance, collaboration, and outcomes for the organization. When a company invests in employees with training options that align with their interests and professional goals, it demonstrates the company's investment in their staff's success.


Young employees

3. Increase Efficiency & Revenue

Did you know that disengaged employees cost almost $7 trillion in lost productivity the world over every year?!! An Entrepreneur article also mentioned that the cost to replace an employee can be TWICE their base salary, cutting into the company's bottom line even more. Another factor that can cause lost revenue is poor communication. In a survey of 400 very large companies titled the "Cost of Poor Communications," it was discovered that communication issues cost each company tens of millions of dollars. Something else to note is that employees who are engaged are more likely to improve customer service and can result in a 20 percent increase in sales, according to Gallup's "State of American Workplace" report.


Bearing all the above in mind, professional development programs offer many reasons to invest in employees, providing a significant return on investment and impact a company's bottom line!


4. Reduce Conflict or Discord


Frustrated woman at work

Many times, ineffective interpersonal communication compounds the pressure of performing to meet goals. Have you ever encountered a co-worker with whom every interaction felt like you were hitting a roadblock? With heavy workloads, employees often have little time or patience to navigate differing communication styles. This can leave them feeling frustrated, isolated, resentful, or helpless – all of which eventually impact morale, job satisfaction, and retention. Many different personal and professional development programs can improve communication and productivity. Insights Discovery is one such program that helps individuals identify varying communication styles and highlights ways to bring out the best of each one.


5. Build Resiliency

Employees applauding

Resilience in the workplace is crucial to weather changes and turn challenges into opportunities. This can look like adapting swiftly to new roles and maintaining a positive outlook, using constructive feedback as a catalyst for personal growth, or addressing conflicts with respect and seeking resolution. To build a resilient culture, companies need to understand their employees’ needs and create an environment where they can thrive.


A scholarly article on ScienceDirect.com reported that organizational-level initiatives, such as restructuring work or improving performance management, are more effective and have longer-lasting positive effects than individual-based actions. Additionally, when managers can expand or alter employees’ work to enhance skills or offer tasks tailored to their professional growth, employees can become motivated and enthusiastic, finding their work more meaningful. A robust professional development program can offer ways to build resiliency in staff throughout the organization.

 

Now what?

Hopefully you agree with our Five Reasons to Invest in Employees and you're already searching for a program that provides all the above-mentioned benefits. While there are several, one to check out is Insights Discovery. This simple and memorable color system, rooted in the psychology of Dr. Carl Jung, helps individuals understand their own personality preferences and those of others. By identifying each person’s unique style, they can learn how to work together more effectively. Managers can also gain insight into their team members, learning what motivates or discourages them, resulting in a stronger unit overall.

Executive leaders explore Insights Discovery

 

Bottom line: all businesses should invest in professional development programs.


While there are several other factors in a healthy workplace, the ability to communicate effectively is crucial. It’s also important to note that a widespread personal or professional development program shouldn’t be a one-and-done effort, but rather a core practice that is woven into the company’s culture.


After all, an organization is nothing without its people.

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