How to Successfully Foster Employee Growth Within Your Company

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Employees are the number one asset companies have at their disposal; without any employees, there is no company. Without employees, a company is just a pipe dream, and understanding the value of the employee is vital to running a successful organization. This recognition should encourage organizations to offer employees competitive compensation packages for their time, skills, and efforts. This is the first step to take when trying to attract high-quality talent into the ranks of your organization. 

On top of offering employees a competitive compensation package, companies must also be prepared to foster continual employee development and growth. If efforts aren’t made in this direction, the highest quality employees will look for additional advancement opportunities elsewhere, leaving you in a perpetual cycle of desperately trying to hire high-quality employees. 

The following list offers a few ideas on how managers, decision-makers, and organizational leaders can successfully foster and encourage employee growth within the company.

“Employee development is also about improving employee morale, strengthening teams, encouraging employees to perform their best, and above all, building a stronger and better business with employees as the foundation.”

– Ajay Deep, Author, Coworking Mag – 

Promote from Within

One of the simplest and best practices an organization can implement in pursuing employee development and growth is promoting from within. This is a simple way to show current employees that the organization is dedicated to their development and growth while displaying a healthy portion of loyalty to those already on staff. When a position opens up in the organization, either through vacancy or the creation of a new position, the first pool of talent that hiring managers should consider are the employees immediately around them. 

Rather than scouring the internet and sifting through thousands of resumes that have been blindly submitted, organizations can save time and money by looking at the talent they’ve already cultivated and giving those individuals a chance to rise through the ranks and truly let their skill sets shine. This saves time and money on the organization’s behalf and gives employees the chance to grow as professionals, learn new skills, and take on new challenges. 

“Promoting from within is always a priority because it saves so much time. More than that, though, it gives employees an incentive and a reason to be here. Almost no one wants to be stuck in the same job indefinitely. The opportunity to be noticed and promoted and rise through the ranks is really important for morale.”

Drew Sherman, VP of Marketing, RPM Freight Systems

Organizations prioritizing internal promotions also see less employee burnout and more employee satisfaction, partly because people go into their workday knowing there’s an opportunity for something more. This motivation is ongoing and sustainable and gives employees an additional reason to put in the effort daily and stay consistent with their work. 

On the other side of this coin is hiring external candidates for roles that internal employees could fill. While expansion can be a good thing that leads to adding team members, it can demotivate current employees to see external candidates come in and be hired into positions above them. This can also lead to the internal staff exploring employee opportunities elsewhere, which can cause higher turnover rates and employee dissatisfaction.

“Being promoted into a higher level position feels really rewarding. It feels as though the time and energy put in are all worth it at the end of the day, and it’s just such a gratifying feeling. If there’s no chance to reap that reward, that can be really demotivating really quickly.”

Max Schwartzapfel, CMO, Fighting For You

Offer Leadership Opportunities

Another great way for companies and organizations to offer employees growth and development opportunities is through a chance at a leadership role. You don’t need a full promotion to take on a leadership position with a bit more responsibility in a professional organization. There are often chances on new projects or upcoming ideas for team members to take a kind of point-guard type position. 

This is typically referred to as the project lead, who works fairly closely with the project manager and the actual team manager. This is a great way for team members to step out of their shells a little bit and show off their directorial and managerial prowess. Additionally, team members who show a knack for leadership can then be considered down the line when promotion opportunities are available. 

“Getting a leadership opportunity can be a game-changer as it allows for so much growth. It can allow you to show off unique ideas and different ways of thinking.”

Ubaldo Perez, CEO, Hush Anesthetics

By offering employees and team members leadership opportunities, your organization can actively help cultivate these important soft skills in its staff. Investing in the people of the organization is never a bad idea. 

“It’s so important to invest in the people of the organization. Think about it; without the people, there are no employees or customers. That often gets lost in our world, but it’s crucial to remember the people at the root of everything.”

Miles Beckett, CEO and Co-founder, Flossy

Continual Education 

Employee development and growth aren’t always about promotions, raises, and leadership opportunities. Sometimes, it’s genuinely about helping employees become better, more learned versions of themselves. For instance, many organizations offer their employees continual education opportunities in many ways, often free of charge. 

“Giving employees the ability to decide and determine for themselves what’s worth learning and where they need to grow is so empowering, and it allows the individual to delve into something they’ve found a passion for.”

Josh Weiss, Founder and CEO, Reggie

There are a plethora of ways to offer continuing education and learning to employees, too. Some organizations are incredibly generous and offer reimbursement for full-on university programs. This can be arranged in various ways, but essentially the employee picks a program, has it approved, and gets reimbursed for their time spent gaining additional education and certification. Organizations like HubSpot also offer certification programs that can be extraordinarily developmental and educational. 

“There are so many educational and certification programs out there for just about any field, niche, and specialty you can imagine. If someone’s looking to learn more about a specific professional field, they should consider having a candid conversation with their manager to see what opportunities for additional education may exist.”

Nabeel Abdullah, CEO, Sapphire

Let People Shine

Successfully fostering employee growth and development is extremely rewarding and gratifying. It feels good to watch employees step into their own and mature, but it’s also beneficial for employee and staff morale. The more members in the organization who feel fulfilled with their role and their ability to advance in their careers, the better the organization will be. 

“If you’re a manager, it can be especially rewarding to see employees who are hired at the ground level rise through the ranks. It’s important to foster growth so employees can become a voice and a decision-maker in the organization.”

Matt Masiello, Chief Marketing Officer, BabyBuddha

Prioritizing employee growth and development will only improve your organization in the long run—don’t let the potential of your organization’s staff be wasted. 

“The secret is letting people find that passion and self-motivation. Then, once it has been self-discovered, it’s up to the employee or manager to help foster, grow, and direct all that potential.”

Justin Soleimani, Co-Founder, Tumble

Listen to Good Ideas 

Finally, if there’s anything to take away from this, it’s that you never know when, where, or from whom the next great idea will come. As such, creating a space within your organization where everyone feels comfortable pitching ideas and speaking their mind is important. By virtue, this puts managers and decision-makers in place who are open-minded enough to listen to and identify good ideas when they arise. 

“Simply put, no one has any clue where the next best idea will come from. Historically, it’s from an off-the-wall game-changer who isn’t taken seriously until some time down the line.”

Jae Pak, Founder, Jae Pak MD Medical

Listening is a skill in and of itself and a vital one for managers and organizational leaders to hone and practice. 

“No matter what stage of life you’re in, the most important skill anyone can develop is the skill of listening.”

Katy Carrigan, CEO, Goody

A Few Final Thoughts

Successfully fostering and developing employee growth within your organization will help with employee retention and satisfaction and will even reduce rates of burnout. Learn to foster and grow your employees, and your organization will grow right alongside them. 

“…fostering employee development takes some effort, but is easily accomplished with a little time and planning. Employees want to learn and grow but need encouragement, feedback, and an environment conducive to learning.”

– Emma Sturgis, Writer, The Resourceful CEO


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