One goal of any community is economic prosperity, and through successful workforce development, this goal is attainable. By focusing on employees as individuals, implementing best practices, supporting development, and creating a sustainable workforce, companies can encourage community growth. At Bunny Studio, we are familiar with this, and we make every effort to look after our team. Let’s see how you can do this, too, and create the sustainable workforce our global community needs. Remember, this is a concept where everyone touched benefits.
Let’s talk about workforce development
Before we jump into how to implement workforce development, let’s delve into exactly what it is. It’s a term we hear more and more these days, and understanding what it is is crucial to creating the best environment for this development.
According to MyWorkChoice.com, workforce development is a concept encompassing employment initiatives to help create, sustain, and retain a viable workforce. When employers meet the objective of workforce development, it leads to economic prosperity not only for businesses but also for individuals and communities. You see, it can benefit society as a whole.
So what does workforce development focus on? One thing is helping each individual grow skills, enhance their abilities, and develop tools to use for business success.
Workforce development enables employees to be more productive and prosperous within the workplace, and this benefits the worker and the employer, which then spreads into the community. It also connects work and outside life so the day-to-day is not so compartmentalized.
As we see changes in the workplace, due to internal factors as well as external factors, we need to adapt. For instance, there are ever-changing digital platforms that employees must learn to work with, and then there are external factors, like a global pandemic.
From experience, we now know sometimes a shift from what was once the norm is necessary. As employers help their employees become more adaptable and employers also adapt themselves, it leads to a workplace of more satisfaction and less frustration.
We know that when employees feel valued and understood, they feel more connected to their company. This, in turn, leads to more focused and committed work and a desire to stay within the company. We’ve all seen the films featuring the frustrated employee, stuck somewhere they don’t want to be, dreaming of what’s next. They complete their professional tasks in a rote, detached, minimal manner. This isn’t good for anyone – not the employer, the employee, or society as a whole. So with workforce development, everyone can progress, find fulfillment, and become contributing, valued members of a team.
When team members want to stick around, you as an employer can focus on them. You don’t need to work on finding replacements, onboarding, or beginning training. Professional development, new strategies, and team building can take place instead.
Putting people above business
Looking back at the movie we mentioned featuring the dissatisfied employees, we know that in this world, the company comes before the people making it run. Sure, the success of a company is all-important, but the satisfaction and fulfillment of its team are all-important, too.
At Bunny Studio, we know that the well-being of our team is crucial for our company to thrive. In fact, we’ve created an environment of work-life integration to foster that well-being. Perhaps it’s encouraging employees to talk about issues outside of work and take a break or encouraging team leaders to get to know their team. When everyone becomes humanized, it’s easier to find value. As a leader, don’t be afraid to talk about family or ask for a vacation photo. And let employees know it’s okay to ask for help, whether it’s on a project or for a mental health day.
Take a look at this example. It’s the same situation presented in two different ways. A team member is asking for consecutive Friday afternoons off. They’re still getting work done, and the hours off are being made up throughout the week. However, because no reason was given, the team leader begins to wonder why Friday afternoons. Is the employee looking for a jumpstart to the weekend, maybe an early happy hour? This can send a bit of a negative vibe that begins to grow and fosters a bad relationship.
On the other hand, when the team member shares that Friday afternoons are when they go walk dogs at the local animal shelter, the team leader can understand the need for this time off. Perhaps it opens a dialogue about community service or pets and creates a further connection between the two. It also helps the community when the company allows this time for service. So instead of those negative vibes, there is value and support because the team member felt valued enough to share their story. When workforce development is apparent, it can help the team members see that they are trusted. And the positive cycle continues.
Some companies offer time off for community service as we know it’s important to help others around you. Maybe teams work together outside the company in a service capacity or each pursues their individual passion. Whichever it may be, offering time for this shows that people and the community come before business. After all, can a company really thrive without those things?
Other ways to improve on this:
- Religious holidays off. Whether your company is remote or in person, there are probably people from varying religious backgrounds. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays, and it’s important for team members to have the time to recognize what’s important to them.
- Cultural awareness. Don’t just decorate for Christmas. Encourage team members to bring in traditional foods or share stories about their cultural backgrounds.
- Parental leave. More and more, companies are offering longer parental leave and not just to the birth mom. Regardless of the birth situation or the gender of the parents, all new parents can benefit from paid time off.
- Mental health time off. Just as you can take a day for when you are physically sick, people should be able to take mental health time to recharge and take care of themselves. When they feel comfortable and valued in the workplace, this is easier to do.
- Continuing education. When a company invests in their employee’s continuing education, they are creating a fostering atmosphere of value and emphasis on betterment. Whether it’s through a stipend for classes, opportunities for certification, or in-house training and eLearning, it all helps the team members be stronger at what they do and creates room for growth.
- In fact, 87% of Millennials share that access to professional development or career growth opportunities is very important to the decision of whether to stay or go at a particular position.
You can see from these samples, that each one shows value for the individual and puts the team member in a respected role. As they see they are just as important as the company itself, their satisfaction, fulfillment, and desire to succeed increases. Yes, it’s a win-win.
Benefits of workforce development
A company can benefit from workforce development because they are promoting longevity and dedication within its team members. This leads to retention and a solid team. The cost of hiring new members goes far beyond the recruitment period. It also entails training, expenses, workplace integration, benefits…the list goes on. But when there is employee retention, each employee continually shows more to offer, and enhanced dedication and connection, then the company can grow within from each employee. Also, companies that prioritize professional training enjoy a 24% higher profit margin than companies that don’t focus on training.
The team members
Through workforce development, each team member can become enriched and grow professionally. As employees become experienced within a company, they share that confidence within to perhaps take on new projects or voice new ideas. They can have increased salaries, more days off, and form more professional and personal connections. Again, that work-life integration comes into play which is integral in satisfaction and productivity.
The community is the third point of positivity here. As the company and the people there are successful, this spreads within the community.
Sure, the community is probably benefiting directly from the business, but it also is seeing benefits from developed employees. As workers feel more confident within their job, they’ll spend more which enhances economic productivity within a community. When they are encouraged to take service days, they’ll spend time working directly in the community. This can spread far beyond the local community. Workplace development intrinsically promotes a sustainable community through economic prosperity.
As corporations dedicate more to their team members, this sustainability spreads far and wide. Through training employees, letting them thrive and share their skills and passions, learn new things and implement ideas, everyone benefits. Employees understand they are valued and positivity grows, rather than resentment.
The ultimate value of workforce development
As corporations and communities understand the value of workforce development, more and more employees look forward to working with companies who offer these concepts. Clocking in from 9 – 5 in an anonymous office is not what the talented and driven professionals of today are looking for. When companies offer value, training, enrichment, and humanity, we all thrive. It’s also important to take on a role that fits the company. There isn’t a formula or a one size fits all approach for workforce development, it’s what works best for your employees and your company.
Take a look around, take a deep breath, and see what you can do for those around you. When you implement workforce development in the way that fits best, you’ll see the benefits.
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”―Benjamin Franklin
We love how that sums up workforce development and if you are looking for more information on implementing this concept into your workplace, please check out more of our Bunny Studio library. After all, we are pretty proud of what we do.
And if you ever need to outsource some talent, don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember, it’s all tied together, and if we can help in your workforce development, we’d love to lend a hand.