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What Is Employee Development?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Employee development is a process by which an employee at a company improves upon his or her skills and learns new abilities that are typically applicable within the workplace. One of the simplest and most common forms of this type of development is basic training in which a person learns information that he or she needs to perform a job well. Continued on-the-job training can include shadowing of other employees and rotation of jobs within a company to allow employees to have a broader base of knowledge and more diverse skill sets. Employee development may also be facilitated through more structured learning and training, such as education at a college or attendance of seminars.

The purpose of employee development is for workers at a company to learn skills that they can use within the workplace. This is typically a mutually beneficial process, since workers can become more knowledgeable and better able to advance within the company thanks to this development. The company itself, which often pays for employee development, may benefit from the,fact that its workers are better prepared to do their jobs. There is also the potential for those who are better trained to feel happier at work and to remain with a particular employer that has supported their professional improvement.

One simple method of employee development is the basic training that many people receive when they begin working at a company. Many prefer to work in a position in which they feel they are properly trained and prepared to complete those tasks necessary of them. Once initial training is complete, then employee development can continue through ongoing training. This often assists employees with gaining the skills and knowledge they may need for promotion within a company. Such training can involve employees shadowing other associates and managers, or receiving continued instruction within their position.

Employee development an also occur outside of a workplace, usually through organizations that are established to provide people with education or training. Many employers, for example, pay for or reimburse tuition costs for students attending classes that are related to the work performed by that business. This type of ongoing training can improve employee confidence and job satisfaction, as well as increase retention at a workplace in which workers feel appreciated and encouraged in their training. Many businesses also send their workers to conferences or seminars as forms of employee development. These activities are often organized by professional organizations and other groups, and allow individuals to network within an industry and gain exposure to new technologies or ideas.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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