From the Blog

Is a lack of employee development driving high turnover?

People often cite a lack of employee development opportunities as a reason for leaving, so why don’t more businesses invest in employee development plans? In this post we’ll dive into how learning and development plans for employees can form an essential part of your engagement strategy. We’ll also unpack a YakTrak trial that delivered some surprising benefits.


Good intentions aren’t enough

Commonly, there are two scenarios that lead to people development strategy failure.

Scenario 1: Organisations start out with good intentions, outlaying significant investment in offsite training and change programs, but then don’t follow through consistently. This means that training becomes an event, not a journey.

Scenario 2: Leaders are given the task of embedding training through coaching and development, but are so focused on administrative tasks and attending other people’s meetings that they don’t have time to do it.

In both scenarios, intentions are sound, but there’s a challenge maintaining consistency and follow through. If employees receive great training accompanied by the promise of follow up and coaching, but then it doesn’t happen, you can end up with disengaged employees posing a threat to retention.

In the current competitive job market, people are looking for opportunities to develop, so maintaining an effective talent development strategy will drive performance and improve retention. Creating tailored people development plans, ensuring accountability for delivery and for embedding the learning afterwards, accompanied with tracking progress will show employees that you walk the talk.


What is the goal of employee development? The best of both worlds

Employee development strategies should help an organisation achieve capability outcomes; driving business goals while delivering the growth opportunities employees are seeking.

Robust content delivery, long-term embedding activities and tracking mechanisms are key to ensuring ROI is achieved. Businesses should also devise plans for removing non-important ‘busy work’ to free up time so leaders can actively develop their people and build a great team.


What is an employee performance and development plan?

Effective plans work as a roadmap for improving employees’ skills and capabilities. Both the employee and their leader should be involved and collaborate in the creation of the development plan.


What should a development plan include?

A development plan involves the following:

  1. Assessing current capability. Self and leader assessments to determine a baseline of current capability. Observation is essential here, without this, a capability assessment becomes a ‘stick the finger in the air’ exercise.
  2. Defining career and organisational goals. This step helps to ensure the team member is on a development journey that helps both them and the organisation.
  3. Identifying development opportunities to bridge the gap between current and desired capabilities. Following the 70:20:20 principle (70% learned on the job, 20% from peers and leaders and 10% from formal training programs) is a great way to ensure outcomes no matter what opportunities you identify.
  4. Adding time frames to goals and activities. This helps keep everyone accountable and ensure everyone’s clear about when key activities should be completed.
  5. Documenting and tracking progress. This is one of the most important steps. It will allow for adjustments to be made so the development opportunities deliver the desired outcomes. It is surprising how many organisations still use paper-based forms or Excel. Digital solutions are the way of the future and are available now.

Employee development plan ideas can include both long- and short-term goals and the steps that will help achieve them, such as on-the-job coaching, self-paced e-learning, formal training, conferences, mentoring, secondments and special projects.


Driving an employee development and coaching culture with YakTrak – a case study

One of Australia’s large roadside assistance services implemented an employee development program aiming to drive a coaching culture within their retail store network.

YakTrak ran an A/B trial with 50 participants hypothesising that with YakTrak, leaders would:

  • apply best practice coaching cadence – ensuring team members were regularly getting the time they needed with their leaders, and
  • be more likely to embed the recently delivered team member training and development program successfully.

We measured employee engagement and the quantity and quality of leadership interactions with frontline staff.

YakTrak users were more engaged, recording 20% detractors and 40% promoters, to achieve an employee engagement NPS score of +20%; while the control group (non-YakTrak users) saw no change to engagement levels as measured by NPS, with 66% detractors and 0% promoters. YakTrak users also recorded an 8.3% increase in the quantity and quality of coaching with their leaders.

We knew that YakTrak would increase quality and quantity of coaching and this trial showed that employee development supported by YakTrak can really lift the dial on engagement levels too.

Get your employee development back on track

Find out more about YakTrak

Need help getting your employee development programs back on track?

Get your employee development plans into action with YakTrak. YakTrak:

  • Tracks coaching progress
  • Provides nudges when actions are almost due
  • Helps to establish a consistent cadence to embed coaching into the daily routine
  • Works with the templates you’re already using

Get in touch with us today.