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Investing in Employee Development: Caring For Your Most Important Asset

Two people smiling and looking at the same computer screen.

Sometimes it feels like you just need that one star player who will be able to encourage your team to get to that next level. Maybe your workers are bored, and the excitement has become stagnant. If that’s the case, employee development is the next step for your business.

Employee development is simply teaching employees new skills and honing existing ones instead of looking for better talent elsewhere.

Why Should Companies Invest in Employee Development?

There are several reasons your business should include a plan for employee development. The pros of staff development include:

  • High retention rate

  • Increased job satisfaction

  • Investing in future leadership

  • Drawing in top talent

We’ll go over in detail each of these benefits below.

Higher Employee Retention Rate

Quiet quitting has become an increasingly difficult problem to overcome. This process includes showing up to work, but only doing the bare minimum. The reason most employees choose to quietly quit is because their work is not engaging them.

When employees are bored they tend to check out. When employees are checked out, they aren’t as productive as they could be and they don’t become better over time.

Employee development keeps employees interested in their jobs by offering new ways to engage with their work and also new areas to grow.

Coworkers talking around a table in a busy office space.

Increased Job Satisfaction

To get the most out of your employees, you need to keep them engaged. If your workers are having difficulty understanding that their job is meaningful they will check out. Boredom leads to decreasing productivity, which leads to loss of money for your business. It’s that simple.

When you invest in the growth of your current employees, you show them you care about their job and keep them engaged.

Employee development should be self-led in some way. Ask your workers these questions and find ways to answer their concerns and desires to grow:

  • Where do they see themselves in 5 years?

  • What are their passions?

  • Do they see any pitfalls throughout the company?

  • In what direction do they want their career to go?

With the answers to these questions, you can better help your employees reach their goals and keep them engaged.

Investing in Future Leadership

Investing in employee development means investing in the future leadership of your company.

If you take the time to teach employees you’ll have an easy time finding employees that could make for great leaders. With consistent learning and development opportunities, you can create a pool of qualified candidates for future leadership openings.

When leadership changes are executed poorly it leaves employees feeling concerned and stressed, often to a level that encourages them to leave your organization. Investing in employee training can make succession easier for your organization by giving your in-house talent skills that qualify them for leadership roles.

Drawing in Top Talent

Ambitious workers aren’t looking for a place they can plug in and do the same thing every day. Top-quality employees are looking for organizations that give them the freedom to grow their skills, learn more, and be challenged.

Your organization should want to hire these high-caliber workers. But they won’t want to work with you unless you give them a space they can grow in. By investing in staff development you’ll be attracting high-value talent.

Two coworkers reviewing notes at a table together.

Ways to Invest In Employee Development

Deciding to invest in your current workforce is a great decision, but knowing how to invest in employee training and development can be challenging. Here are some ways you can upskill your employees and create a stellar team and an environment of learning.

Mentorship Programs

Connecting new employees with seasoned workers has many benefits.

  • First, it builds a culture of collaboration by connecting employees.

  • Second, it’s easier to introduce new employees to your organization.

  • Third, it gives seasoned workers a chance to practice leadership while also getting a fresh perspective.

Mentorship is a great onboarding practice, but when used in a development context, it’s an effective way to bring up leadership and encourage collaboration between departments. If someone is interested in changing departments, pair them with a mentor in that department and start growing them in that direction.

Offer Learning Events

One way you can develop your current workforce is to schedule regular workshops, seminars, and events that are geared toward upskilling.

This could be as complex as an industry conference. You could hire speakers to come visit and invite other businesses to join. Or you could simplify it with in-house breakout groups that discuss findings on a researched topic. Or even a book club.

It’s important to make sure these events do not impede your employee’s current workflow. Consider scheduling them during a slow season, or decrease everyone’s workflow so they can focus on learning.

Independent Classes

There are so many free or paid online courses that are designed to upskill your workforce. This includes courses on LinkedIn, Google’s Skill Shop, and even industry-specific organizations like SEMrush.

Independent courses let your employees learn on their own time. Instead of having to schedule class time, give your workers time every week to work on courses. Give them some direction by having a list of great courses they can take, or pay for classes that are in their field of interest.

Before assigning courses, make sure they fit your company’s needs. The REDC and Yavapai College offer numerous online courses designed to upskill your workforce. Look through our catalog to find the right course for your needs, or reach out to us for a tailored-to-you employee development plan! We specialize in helping businesses and their employees grow and thrive, in Arizona and across the U.S.

Someone typing on a laptop.

Create Your Own Employee Development Program

Your HR department might be eager to create an education program. Let them off the leash or hire a training development manager to help your organization get prepared.

A development program could be wholly new. Including curriculum and class times. Or they could be a collection of courses and other learning opportunities available to current employees.

Whatever option you choose, be consistent. And check in to make sure employees are engaging with the material. If they aren’t, it may be time to reconsider your approach.

Don’t let your HR department only show up for the boring stuff. Keep them close to what’s happening within your organization by developing educational resources.

Grow What You Already Have

Employee training is worth the investment. Not only does it help you retain your current talent pool, but it increases the talent within that pool.

Custom training is a great place to start investing in your employees' growth. You can find all the courses you need through the REDC’s custom, in-person corporate training. We’ll help build a program that matches your organization's needs and budget.

Contact the Regional Economic Development Center at Yavapai College to get started and start growing your business.

Home LinkThe REDC is a Division of Yavapai College.Go to yc.edu

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