6. March 2024

How to nurture and develop your people

How to nurture and develop your people, according to an expert

What are you doing as a HR team right now to prevent your highest performers from moving on from your company? If the answer isn’t clear, it’s worth first considering how your HR strategy connects to your learning and development strategy

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty of actually nurturing your employees. This is vital not only so they can expand on the impact they are able to make for the company and you can boost retention, but so that your employees are also able to build fulfilling careers at your company. 

So how can we as HR professionals ensure our employees are getting the right opportunities that will help them grow in their role and drive engagement company-wide?  We spoke to Aisling MacNamara, Senior Manager of Learning & Development at learning platform LearnUpon, who shares her insights on how to truly nurture and develop your people, in five key focus areas:

1. Give employees independence

While it may seem more scalable to offer a one-size-fits-all approach to L&D opportunities, employee expectations are changing, says Aisling: “Employees want the right level of guidance and autonomy.” She explains: “They expect the structure and resources in place (such as a competency framework and access to relevant content), but they also want a high degree of independence to choose the right learning at the right time.”

In fact, offering this level of customisation for your employees is a key driver in getting high levels of engagement with their learning and development in the first place: “We know our learners are busy and when they do have time to dedicate to development, they expect to be able to choose from a list of well-curated and meaningful learning experiences.”

2. Invest in manager buy-in

Even with the best learning and development setup in the world, employees will struggle to fully engage unless their managers are involved in the process. In fact, Aisling says that “managers are key to everything we do in L&D”. She explains that they play an important role in ensuring teams both get access to and find value in the learning experiences that are offered to them.

It’s not just a matter of manager buy-in, but of internal marketing too: “The way that learning opportunities are market and shared internally will help create awareness.” Once managers understand the options available to their team, they can align on the right time for employees to engage with them: “A continuous conversation between the learning team and managers will help ensure employees receive the right opportunities.”

3. Focus on your frameworks

LearnUpon’s team have spent the last few months building out their career and development framework and it’s something Aisling argues is highly worthwhile setting time aside to get right. She shares that there are a lot of great resources out there and to give yourself the time to become familiar with them. Once that is in place, it’s a matter of ensuring these frameworks are customised to your organisation’s needs.

As Aisling explains, this is something you need to get right from the start: “You can then choose the format that best suits your organisation and that captures your culture and values. While it may seem quicker to copy and paste a ChatGPT version, your senior leaders and employees will be much less likely to engage with it.”

4. Use data to spot skills gaps

An underrated positive impact of having a great learning and development programme in place is that it brings with it invaluable data about what your employees will need as you face into the future: “L&D can connect the dots using data from learners, the HR team and senior leadership to fix skills gaps.”

Aisling reminds that these gaps may exist for many reasons, but having input from these three key stakeholder groups will help to prioritise and assess ‘the why and the how’. Not only does your L&D hold the key for what to focus on, but it can also provide the exact solutions to do so: “L&D can also design custom learning journeys to help enable a wide range of departments.”

5. Offer customised AI training

Finally, let’s answer a question that is likely on everyone’s lips – how do we use our L&D programmes to provide our employees with key AI skills and training that are really going to drive impact for the business? Aisling says that offering graduated levels of learning here is important, according to their role. 

Aisling explains: “There will be a need for all employees to have a working knowledge of AI and how it impacts their work. However, we know that technical teams will need more in-depth and advanced skills.” Because of this, providing custom learning experiences to employees will help them get the training they need, when they need it.

Looking for an even smarter way to connect your L&D and HR processes? Join us for our upcoming webinar with LearnUpon: How to build high-performing teams with internal development on Tuesday March 19th. Reserve your space here.

Hannah Popham

Hannah Popham

Hannah is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Personio. She loves writing about the ever-changing ways that we work and how they intersect with our lives outside work.

Plug Into 100+ Integrations

Integrations Personio Marketplace