Inspiring to see that EY offers first-ever virtual corporate MBA free to all EY people

Employee development is almost universally recognized as a strategic tool for an organization’s continuing growth, productivity, and ability to retain valuable employees. Therefore, it is inspiring to see that a large company like EY 30th June announced the cooperation with Hult International Business School, the first-ever virtual corporate MBA free to all EY people. This shows once again that a company like EY has understood the importance of employee development and that EY as an employer facilitates employees to develop professionally.

Employee development is more Important than ever. Today’s workplace landscape is a fast-paced, competitive environment, and employees are seeking a new kind of career development. One of the most important things employees constantly say is opportunities for career development as critical to their satisfaction with an organization, and the lack of it is a key reason employee change job. For this reason, it is more important than ever to ensure that each team member feels the potential for personal growth and development. Employee development is key to maintaining workers’ efficiency and productivity within their position in the company. For today’s workforce, career development is about moving forward and not just in terms of getting promoted. Most organizations are moving towards flatter hierarchical structures with fewer middle managers which leads to fewer promotional opportunities.

By making employee development a priority within your company culture ensures your employees stays well-informed on industry trends and best practices. Through offering professional development opportunities boosts employee engagement and attracts the top talent one need to keep growing.

Employee development often referred to as professional development but does not refer solely to optimizing an individual’s skill set for a role. Rather, it is a continued learning that nurtures professionals and helps employees progress with their individual career path. While it is ultimately the individual’s responsibility to own their professional development, it is to the employer’s benefit to encourage continuing education by providing or facilitating both internal and external learning opportunities.

By prioritizing employee development such as EY here shows, they ensure that the employees skills continue to evolve in accordance with industry trends and best practices. It is quite interesting, if you are trained as a bus driver, truck driver, doctor, it is always required to renew one’s knowledge. But when it comes to the development of employees and managers, it is often not required that much.

Throughout helping employees develop their strengths and grow their skills better equips the employees also to do better in their present role. This adds more value to the work they do and directly benefits your business. Unfortunately to many employers underestimate the value of professional development for their employees.  If the employer fails to provide employees with professional development opportunities conveys a lack of employer compassion and suggests the role will quickly plateau, meaning careers will reach their limits.

By tailoring an employee development plan, one also shows that the company’s workforce is critical,  such as EY. Your industry and staff size will be driving forces, but learning styles, preferences, subject matter, and accessibility are all important factors to consider. It is something that has amazed me constantly. Time and again we see that rather than caring for the customers an organization have, one spends considerable time and resources on finding new customers, while the departure may be twice as great at the other end. The same goes for hiring new employees, perhaps one first should  focus more on developing the employees one has before searching and hiring for new ones.

Here are six reasons why every organization should invest in the development of its employees

  • Remaining competitive
    • Any organizations are competing not only for market share but also for employees. Employees seek to work for an employer that will contribute to upgrade their skills and to keep them competitive with peers from competitors.
  • Dealing with ongoing employee skills shortages.
    • Instead of searching and recruiting new employees, one should educate and develop the employees one has.
  • Adapting to a constantly changing business structures.                                                                                            
    • Continuously evolving organizations need employee development to ensure engagement and commitment. By providing creative development, executives signal that they value employees.
  • Increasing employee’s productivity.
    • Employees who receive training and educational opportunities are more productive.
  • Reducing employee turnover.
    • The more money an organization spends on employee training and development, the greater the concern that the highly skilled people will leave and take their knowledge somewhere else; however, research has shown that employee training actually reduces turnover and absenteeism.
  • Aligning employee development with the organization’s needs.
    • Employers should let strategic needs drive employee development. For example, the Norwegian hydropower company Statkraft* where the former President & CEO Mr. Bård Mikkelsen of Statkraft, was my mentor for 12 years, lately has worked strategically to hire and develop the HR department at group level. This is because they want to show the importance of the company’s employees. I also wrote my MBA thesis for Statkraft back in 2008, about how Statkraft could best develop and retain their employees. By facing impending retirement of many older workers, an organization such as Stakraft might broaden those workers’ skills so they can add variety to their jobs and take on new responsibilities. Such measures could encourage experienced workers to stay on the job for Statkraft.

*Statkraft is a leading international hydropower company and Europe’s largest supplier of renewable energy. The Group produces hydropower, wind power, solar power and gas power and supplies district heating. Statkraft is a global market player in energy trading and has 4,000 employees in 17 countries.)

By investing in developing employees, one helps one’s employees and clients prepare for the future.

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