How to Invest Smarter in Employee Development

Investing is all about making the right decisions with available resources. Companies have to make these decisions constantly, including when deciding who to hire, develop, and promote.  The research shows that organized employee development is great for your company’s bottom line. But like any smart investment, the key is to target your organization’s effort and dollars at the people that will yield the highest returns.

Who should be the target of employee development?

Here are some key individual factors to look for:

  • Conscientiousness. Conscientious people commit themselves to organization, diligence, and goal orientation. This helps them succeed as much in employee development endeavors as it does in other aspects of the workplace. Employees who are high in conscientiousness are some of your safest investments – these employees deliver.
  • Achievement Motivation. Some people find motivation in “being the best,” possibly rooted in early-childhood experiences. Employees who have high achievement motivation will then be sure to capitalize on and utilize any employee development opportunities they are given.
  • Self-Efficacy. This is the belief that we are capable of succeeding. It’s the feeling of “I’ve got this” that often precedes success. Employees who have high self-efficacy will be comfortable being pushed outside their comfort zone to learn and absorb new skills in employee training. These new skills can then expand their realm of “I’ve got this.”

Beware of the confident go-getter

Confidence can be a valuable indicator of a person’s capability, to the extent that it is rooted in an accurate sense of self-efficacy. However, it can also be a sign that a person is too inexperienced to understand their own inadequacies. Even worse, it can be a symptom of a distorted and troublesome personality type that would make for a poor employee development investment in most circumstances. Whereas accurate self-efficacy can predict success, overconfidence predicts a more catastrophic failure. The more embarrassing the failure, the more likely we are to retreat and not risk future embarrassment.

So how do you tell who is an overconfident risk instead of a valuable investment opportunity?

Experience can be critical to differentiating rockstars from pretenders. However, early career applicants may not have had the chance to demonstrate their capabilities yet. This is where an employment pre-screening tool can be invaluable.

Finding the target for employee development

Within your current workforce, your employees may have many strengths, but they likely also have some weaknesses. Cangrade’s employee development tools can help you identify both. Let us help direct you to the employee training that will fill in your workforce gaps, and to the investments that will take your team to the next level. A sound investment in your workforce can pay off, so make use of our tools to target your efforts where the data says they will deliver.

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