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Investing in Your Employees 

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Supporting Employee Training & Development: A Guide for Managers

As a manager or employer, you have a critical role in fostering your employees' professional growth and development. Providing opportunities for training and skill-building can improve your employees' performance, increase their job satisfaction and help your organization stay competitive. However, many managers may not know where to start or how to structure training programs for their employees. This guide will provide you with practical tips and resources on how to support your employees' training and development as well as create a culture of learning within your organization.
Investing in Employees pays dividends

Understanding the Benefits of Investing in Employee Development

Understanding the benefits of investing in employee development is crucial for any organization seeking to optimize their workforce. By providing opportunities for training and skill-building, employees are better equipped to succeed in their roles, leading to increased job satisfaction and retention rates. This section will explore the numerous benefits of investing in your employees, including improved job performance, a more engaged workforce, and a competitive edge in the industry.
  • A study by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.
  • Companies with high employee engagement have 21% higher profitability than those with low engagement, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
  • The cost of employee turnover can range from 50-200% of the employee's salary, according to a study published by the Society for Human Resource Management.
  • Companies with high employee engagement had 21% higher productivity and 22% higher profitability than those with low employee engagement, according to a study by Gallup.
  • Employees who receive regular training and development opportunities are up to 50% more productive, according to a study by the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce.
  • Investing in employee training can lead to a 10% increase in productivity compared to not investing, as reported by the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce.
  • Companies that offer comprehensive training programs have a 218% higher income per employee than those that don't, according to a report by the Association for Talent Development.
  • Employee development leads to higher engagement levels and lower turnover rates, resulting in significant cost savings, according to research by the Society for Human Resource Management.
  • Organizations that invest in employee development are 2.5 times more likely to be first in their market, according to a survey by the Association for Talent Development.
  • Employees who were provided with development opportunities were more likely to be innovative and take on new challenges, based on a study of more than 3,000 employees, according to research by the Harvard Business Review.

  • Employees who feel that their employer is committed to their development are 2.5 times more likely to be satisfied with their job, as found in a survey conducted by Gallup.
  • A survey conducted by Gallup found that employees who strongly agree that their employer is committed to their development are 2.5 times more likely to be satisfied with their job.
  • 74% of employees stated in a survey conducted by LinkedIn that they would be willing to dedicate additional time to learning if it was relevant to their job.

Supporting Employee Training & Development

It's important to play an active role in supporting your employees' training and development. By doing so, you can ensure that your team is equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to meet your organization's goals and stay competitive in your industry. This section provides a comprehensive guide on how to support your employees' training and development, including tips on identifying training needs, providing resources and opportunities for development, and encouraging and supporting continuous learning. By following this guide, you can help your employees thrive and grow, while also fostering a culture of learning and development within your organization.
  • Conduct regular performance evaluations to assess employees' strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas where they need further training or development.
  • Solicit feedback from employees on what training or development opportunities they feel they need to excel in their roles.
  • Analyze trends and gaps in performance across the organization to identify areas for improvement and align training and development initiatives with strategic goals and objectives.
  • Conduct job analysis to identify the skills and knowledge required for specific positions and design training programs accordingly.
  • Develop a training budget and allocate resources to support employee development initiatives.
  • Offer a range of training programs that are relevant to employees' job roles and interests, and use different training formats to cater to different learning styles and preferences.
  • Encourage employees to attend industry conferences and events, participate in online courses, and take advantage of job shadowing opportunities to broaden their horizons and gain new insights and perspectives.
  • Provide access to books, articles, and other educational materials that can help employees improve their skills, and offer mentorship and coaching programs to help them develop their skills and receive feedback on their performance.
  • Provide opportunities for employees to take on new challenges and responsibilities to help them grow and develop in their roles, and offer support and resources to help them succeed.
  • Encourage employees to take advantage of opportunities for ongoing learning and skill-building, such as attending conferences or workshops, participating in online courses, or reading industry publications.
  • Provide access to resources and tools that support learning and development, such as online training platforms, coaching or mentoring programs, or professional associations.
  • Create a culture of learning and growth by recognizing and rewarding employees who demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement, and by setting performance goals and development plans that are aligned with employees' individual career aspirations and the needs of the organization.
  • Provide regular feedback and coaching to help employees identify areas for improvement and build on their strengths, and encourage them to seek out feedback from peers, mentors, and other stakeholders to enhance their learning and development.

Employee Feedback and Development Recognition

Feedback and recognition are essential components of a successful employee development program. Feedback helps employees identify areas for improvement and actionable insights to achieve their professional goals, while recognition motivates and reinforces positive behaviors. In this section, we will explore how managers can effectively incorporate feedback and recognition into their employee development programs to foster a culture of continuous learning and growth.
  • Regular performance evaluations can increase employee engagement, job satisfaction, and productivity, according to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
  • Coaching programs can provide an average return on investment of 7 times the initial cost, according to a report by the International Coach Federation.
  • Encouraging open communication between managers and employees is crucial to ensure timely, relevant, and actionable feedback.
  • Providing training to managers on how to effectively coach and provide feedback to employees can improve employee engagement and retention, according to a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management.
  • Recognition programs can increase employee engagement by up to 71%, according to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management.


  • Organizations that regularly celebrate employee achievements have 2.5 times higher engagement levels and are 20% more likely to achieve their business goals, according to a study by O.C. Tanner.
  • Incentive programs such as bonuses and promotions can be effective in motivating employees to reach their development goals, according to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management.
  • Providing opportunities for peer recognition and feedback can also help employees feel valued and appreciated.
  • Consider implementing a recognition program that highlights employees who make significant strides in their development.
  • Recognition and rewards should be specific and personalized to the employee and their development journey.
  • Emphasize the importance of feedback and recognition to all employees.
  • Regularly train managers and supervisors on giving effective feedback and recognition.
  • Encourage all employees to participate in giving and receiving feedback.
  • Foster an environment of open communication and constructive criticism.
  • Make feedback and recognition a part of regular performance reviews and goal-setting processes.
  • Incorporate feedback and recognition into your company's values and mission statement.
  • Celebrate successes and achievements publicly to encourage a culture of recognition.
  • OC Tanner: Global Culture Report

Measuring the Impact of Employee Development Programs

Measuring the impact of employee development programs is essential for organizations to understand the effectiveness of their training initiatives. Without proper measurement, it can be challenging to determine whether the program is achieving its intended goals and producing the desired results. In this section, we will explore the different methods that organizations can use to measure the impact of their employee development programs, the benefits of doing so, and provide examples of successful implementation.

To effectively measure the impact of employee development programs, organizations must set clear goals and metrics aligned with overall organizational objectives. These goals and metrics should be both measurable and specific to enable the evaluation of the program's success. Some examples of goals and metrics include:

  • Increased employee engagement scores
  • Improved employee retention rates
  • Increased productivity and efficiency
  • Improved quality of work
  • Improved customer satisfaction scores

One example of a successful implementation of goal setting and metrics is the Cisco Sales Associates Program (CSAP). Cisco's CSAP aimed to develop top-performing salespeople by providing them with a comprehensive training program. To measure the success of the program, Cisco set specific goals and metrics for each stage of the program, such as:

  • A 100% retention rate through the first two years of the program
  • A 90% pass rate on certification exams
  • A 10% increase in sales pipeline growth for each participant
  • Achieving a 3.0/4.0 rating on performance evaluations

By setting clear goals and metrics, Cisco was able to track the success of the program and make data-driven decisions for future improvements.

To effectively measure the impact of employee development programs, organizations must collect and analyze relevant data. Some methods for collecting and analyzing data include:

  • Surveys: Organizations can use surveys to gather feedback from employees and managers on the effectiveness of the program.
  • Performance evaluations: Performance evaluations can provide valuable data on employee development progress.
  • Training logs: Tracking employee progress through training logs can provide useful data for program evaluation.

Once organizations have collected data, they must analyze it to determine the effectiveness of the employee development program. One example of successful data analysis comes from Walmart. Walmart's Spark program, aimed at developing mid-level employees, collected data on employee performance, promotion rates, and retention rates. Walmart then analyzed the data to identify trends and patterns, such as high-performing employees being more likely to remain with the company, and identified areas for improvement.

To ensure continued success, organizations must use the data they have collected and analyzed to make data-driven improvements. Some ways to do this include:

  • Adjusting the program: Use the data to identify areas for improvement and make adjustments to the program.
  • Additional training and support: Use the data to identify areas where employees may need additional support or training.
  • Justifying investment: Use the data to justify the investment in employee development programs to upper management or stakeholders.

One example of a successful implementation of data-driven improvements is the Google Sales Transformation Program. Google used data analysis to identify areas where the program was not meeting its goals and made adjustments to the program accordingly. Google also used data to justify the investment in the program to stakeholders, demonstrating that the program produced a return on investment of 300%.

By using data to make data-driven improvements, organizations can ensure that their employee development programs continue to achieve their intended goals and produce the desired results.

Let us help you achieve your goals.

Our team of experts is dedicated to providing ongoing guidance and support to help you achieve success long after the training program ends. Please feel free to reach out to us to schedule a meeting and discover how we can assist you in advancing your career or organization. You can also contact us via email at tlcenter.wustl.edu, by phone at 314-935-4444 or simply fill out the form below. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you and take your aspirations to the next level.