Employers Can Retain Key Employees and Improve Productivity with Personal Growth Opportunities

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Successful business owners know that much of their success depends on their key employees being more productive and serving as positive-attitude role models. Employers can help workers develop the skills and attitude to be leaders and contribute to the company’s success by providing personal growth opportunities. When employees prove to be high performers, employers can support their drive to be even better employees and individuals in four areas of personal development: education and training, a healthy lifestyle, being fully engaged in their work and reduced job-related stress.

  • Employers can make sure employees continue their education and training by providing in-house programs as well as tuition assistance for course work at local colleges and/or technical institutions. These should be clearly presented in the employee handbook. Employers can also help guide employees to government-funded training programs or income tax credits.
  • The benefits to the employer and employee of promoting a healthy personal lifestyle should be obvious. Healthy employees perform better, produce more and are much less likely to be absent. Employers can contribute by establishing a relationship with a local gym or fitness center that provides discounts for employees who exercise regularly. Companies can also sponsor healthy outings, such as hikes, runs and kayak trips, etc.
  • When employees are more engaged in their work (and employers help make that possible) those companies are generally more profitable. The employer’s contribution to this process is to provide opportunities, in the forms of training or materials, so employees understand better the company’s business model and mission. Employees are then better able to apply their specific skills to the company’s goals, which should lead to greater productivity.
  • Employers can also help to reduce stress in the workplace. According to a 2007 public opinion study, seventy-four percent of employees are stressed at work. This, of course, has a major impact on productivity, absenteeism and could even increase confrontation among workers. Employers can address this challenge by making relaxation exercises, such as meditation, stretching and short walks a regular part of the company’s culture and workday. Key employees are better leaders when they are less stressed, share problem-solving solutions with co-workers and help everyone remain calm.

Each of these factors in the personal development of key workers should be delineated in the employee handbook. It’s immediate evidence that the employer values his or her most productive workers and understands how they can have an enormous, positive effect on all employees.

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