Six Ways to Invest in Employee Development - companies who invest in training and development

There is a key difference between staff training and staff development. While both are necessary, the former only teaches the employee about their current role while the latter is more encompassing. Here we consider both as they are essential to current and future performance, employee well-being, succession planning, and competent management.

Tools to Identify Training Needs

Managers are expected to know their staff and to be able to identify gaps in their training and development needs. However, as any fleet manager can tell you, when your employees are out on the road it is hard to get a handle on their personalities and identify driving behaviors that need to be addressed. This is where drive coach comes in, a handy electronic tool based on GPS that does this identification for managers by tracking drivers 24/7 when they are out on the roads.

There are also tools for other managers looking for the best ways to assess their employees and draw up training and development plans. Here are 12 tools to assist you.

Personal Development Plans

Every employee should have a personal development plan (PDP) in place. This is derived through a two-way discussion between the employee and manager. Find out which areas in the current job the employee is struggling with. Which parts of the job do they find hard or put aside for last because they dread having to do them?

Also, point out the areas you have identified where their performance is below par. All of these should go into the PDP. Then discuss where the employees see themselves in five years and map out the training they will need to get there.

Online Courses

Very few managers can afford for their staff to be out of the office for days in a training classroom. Online courses, on the other hand, can be scheduled for quiet times in the week. Most of these either provide a score or a certificate that can go on the employee’s file.


Employees who have skill gaps or behavioral issues need coaching. This is one-on-one training for specific tasks, explaining to the employee what is lacking, and providing time to improve. Follow-up sessions are essential and if an employee fails to improve, could lead to poor work performance hearings.


An employee who excels at the job and is often given additional assignments because of marked ability is ready for mentoring. This involves assigning a mentor who will demonstrate skills and higher-level behaviors to the employee, provide them with challenging assignments, and generally prepare them for promotion.


Create a set of online materials, such as podcasts, useful websites, webinars, and videos. These should be relevant to the company mission and/or relate to improving work ethics. Task all your employees with working through these at their own pace. However, provide an end date to complete going through all the materials. Test employees on their knowledge and add bonus points on the annual performance appraisal for employees who made the effort and acquired the new knowledge and skills.

Development is ongoing and needs to form part of the manager’s repertoire of skills and priorities.


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