Business growth isn’t fueled by just one thing. But one area many businesses tend to overlook while assessing their growth plans is employee development.

Here’s the truth: Employee development is just as beneficial to the success of the overall business as it is to the individual. When employees explore and develop their passions and skills, that knowledge and ability carry over to your company’s goals.

Empowered employees create a stronger talent pipeline, are more satisfied in their roles, are more efficient at what they do day-to-day (and long-term), and drive more sales. 

So, how can you cultivate employee development with a focus on company growth?

In this blog, we’ll cover how to assess your employees’ current abilities, how to create a development roadmap, why mentorship matters (and how to do it right), and how to measure the success of your employee development initiatives.

Where Are Your Employees Starting From?

Before embarking on any development initiatives, you’ll need to assess your employees’ current capabilities and identify areas for improvement. 

This involves analyzing existing skill sets, understanding emerging skill requirements, and soliciting employee feedback through self-assessment and structured feedback mechanisms.

Keep in mind that assessing skills isn’t a one-time thing. Regularly checking in can help you identify areas where your team might need additional help, so you can support them with employer-sponsored training. That way, your workforce can be in tip-top shape with the most in-demand skills the market is after.

From there, you’ll be in a better place to create an employee development plan that matches your objectives. Let’s talk about what that looks like.

Related: Burn Bright, Not Out! Crafting Solutions for High Achievers

Crafting a Development Roadmap

The insights from your assessment phase will help you create a development roadmap that best supports your individual employees and aligns with the overall company mission. 

This involves setting SMART goals—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound—and tailoring development plans to individual strengths and career aspirations. On the individual level, your employee development plan should cover:

  • Areas of opportunity for your employee
  • Skills that employee wants to gain or improve
  • Steps, actions, and training needed to develop those skills
  • Resources for further development
  • A regular cadence for check-ins 

Fueling your company’s growth also means asking one important question: Do the skills this employee is developing align with the overall goals of the business? And as a follow-up, you should consider ways you can get both goals working in tandem.   

But keep in mind that employee development is—at its core—about your workforce, so be sure to keep lines of communication open at all times. Ask them how they prefer to learn (e.g., online training, in-person courses, seminars, conferences, etc.) and how they wish to receive feedback.

This is where strong mentorship will make all the difference.

Related: 5 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Efficiency

The Power of Mentorship and Coaching

Mentorship and coaching play a pivotal role in employee development, providing personalized guidance and support to help individuals reach their full potential. 

That responsibility is partly yours, but mentors have mentors, too. Generally, a CMO is a strong coaching figure in a marketing organization, but for smaller companies or for those with tight budgets, a fractional CMO offers all the same benefits as a full-time CMO—but at a fraction of the cost.

Unlike working with an outside agency, fractional CMOs serve as your fiduciary partner. They are fully invested in your success and engaged with your company, becoming part of your team while holding internal staff and vendors accountable for various projects.

That makes fractional CMOs excellent mentors for both yourself and your team. Because they get to know your goals—including the development goals of your employees—they can help you develop and execute a development plan that nurtures your overall company growth and the success of your workforce. 

Here’s a great story about the difference a fractional CMO can really make for a company’s growth (spoiler: Their revenue went up by 250%!)

Related: How a Fractional CMO Can Help Grow Your Business

How Well Are Your Development Initiatives Working?

It’s not enough to just put employee development initiatives in place. To make sure your effort is actually paying off, you need to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and implement feedback loops to track progress and success. 

By collecting and analyzing data, you can refine your strategies, continue to offer your employees training that best aligns with their goals, and measure the success of your initiatives to the growth of your company.

This is another area where a fractional CMO can make a world of difference. Like a full-time marketing leader, fractional CMOs stay on board to make sure your strategy is executed well and make changes accordingly. 

Related: The Real Value of Fractional CMOs: Who Are They?

Your Journey Starts Now

Your business and your employees are growing together as you embark on your development journey. Do you have all the resources, tools, and support you need to maximize your effort?

As we’ve discussed in this blog, a fractional CMO can help you navigate this journey with confidence. 

Click here to set up a free, 30-minute consultation to see what value a fractional CMO can bring to your organization.