Employee development is absolutely pivotal for sustained business success. Researchers, practitioners, and industry leaders all agree that overlooking employee development for short-term gains limits your organisational capabilities and has a concrete impact on your bottom-line.

Replacing trained employees can cost your business between 33% to 213% of their annual salary, and companies with strong learning cultures see a remarkable 30-50% rise in retention rates. 

Simply put, investing in employee development is necessary, and as Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is positioned as the best business school in the Netherlands for people development, we want to offer a complete guide to developing your teams, it’s benefits, and how it can be implemented in your organisation to thrive in your industry.  


A male student focused on writing notes during an employee development programme at RSM.

Benefits of employee development programmes

Investing in employee development programmes leads to a wide variety of benefits for your organisation. From short-term gains in productivity to long-term sustainable growth and employee wellbeing, your efforts toward developing your teams will bring you closer to your organisational goals. Below are the five key benefits you need to know before implementing an employee development initiative:

1. Enhanced employee morale and job satisfaction

Investing in employee development programmes demonstrate a commitment to individual growth, boosting morale, and overall perceptions of job satisfaction. When your employees feel valued and supported, they are more engaged, motivated, and eager to contribute their best efforts to your organisation.

2. Increased employee loyalty and retention

By investing in their professional growth, your people are more likely to develop a strong sense of loyalty to your organisation. Higher job satisfaction and opportunities for advancement reduce turnover rates, fostering a stable and dedicated workforce, and lowering operational costs related to recruiting and onboarding new employees.

3. Cultivation of innovation and creativity

Employee development programmes nurture creativity and innovative thinking, directly in programmes targeted towards innovation, and indirectly through collaborative learning methods and discovering new perspectives. As employees gain new skills and perspectives, they become better equipped to devise innovative solutions to challenges, giving their organisation a competitive edge.

4. Improved performance and productivity

Equipped with updated skills, increased intrinsic motivation, and greater creative capabilities, employees become more efficient and effective in their roles, leading to increased productivity and overall organisational performance.

5. Attracting top talent

Organisations that prioritise employee development attract top talent seeking growth opportunities and professional advancement. A strong reputation for investing in employee growth serves as a powerful recruitment tool, bringing in skilled individuals who are eager to contribute to the organisation's success.

Effective strategies for effective employee development

There is an abundance of learning and development solutions for businesses, and as a learning and development manager, it can be difficult to identify exactly what strategies will best develop your people. Here are the five most popular and effective methods for implementing employee development programmes in your organisation:

  • In-Company training


    In-company training is a widely used approach that involves implementing existing training programmes, such as short-courses, workshops, and skill-building sessions, within the organisation. These existing programmes can then be executed to full teams, to collectively raise the overall capabilities of the team, and establish a shared standard skillset of all employees. These programs can also be tailored to address specific sk

  • Customised development programmes


    A customised learning and development programme is a bespoke approach to employee training and skill enhancement, designed to address specific challenges faced by an organization. Whereas in-company training is based off previously-existing programmes, customised programmes are an act of co-creation, built from the ground-up to solve a specific organisational problem. It involves conducting a needs analysis, and finding blind-spots or potential weak-points w

  • Individual professional development programmes


    Individual professional development programmes, also known as individual development plans, are collaborative initiatives between individual employees and their supervisors or mentors. Differing from the previous two methods, which are focused on collective team development, an individual development plan outlines the employee's career objectives and the steps required to achieve them. Every employee will embark on their own individual learning journey, suppo

  • Mentoring

    Mentoring is a powerful approach that fosters a nurturing learning environment. Seasoned employees, often in leadership roles, guide and support their less-experienced colleagues, sharing their knowledge and insights. This symbiotic relationship not only enhances the mentee's skills but also provides the mentor with an opportunity for personal and professional growth, creating a culture of knowledge-sharing and camaraderie within the organisation.

  • Coaching

    Coaching is another valuable technique that involves a professional coach working directly with employees to identify and overcome performance barriers and unleash their potential. Unlike mentoring, coaching focuses on specific skill development, behaviour modification, and performance improvement. By providing targeted guidance and constructive feedback, coaching empowers employees to sharpen their skills, boost their confidence, and excel in their roles.

Investing in and implementing a combination of these strategies allows organisations to create comprehensive and impactful employee development programmes that not only enhance individual skills, but also foster a culture of continuous learning and growth, benefiting both employees and the organisation as a whole.

How to measure the effectiveness of employee development

Measure feelings of growth

Employee wellbeing and feelings of growth can be assessed through surveys or interviews to gauge participants' satisfaction with the development programme. Feedback on improved job satisfaction, increased motivation, and perceived personal growth can indicate the programme's positive impact on the overall wellbeing of employees.

Measure productivity

Productivity metrics, such as individual or team performance, output, and efficiency, can be compared before and after the employee development programme. A significant increase in productivity post-training indicates that the programme has successfully enhanced employees' skills and abilities.

Measure confidence in skills:

By conducting pre- and post-programme self-assessments, employees can gauge their confidence in specific skills (e.g., communication, leadership). An improvement in perceived confidence signifies the programme's effectiveness in boosting participants' skillset and self-assurance.

No matter how you implement your employee development programme, focusing on bringing engaging learning experiences to your workforce will bring the best out of your people, and this will have a demonstrable positive impact on your organisation.

RSM provides in-depth, innovative learning solutions for organisations, from in-company training courses to fully co-created customised learning programmes. As the best business school in the Netherlands for customised executive education, RSM is a great choice as a learning partner to support your teams, and your organisation's goals. 

What else do you want to know?

How we work together

Read more about our purpose-driven process of co-creation. 

  • Learn more

In-company training

Read more about our offering for smaller private group trainings. 

Customised programmes

Customised learning solutions to meet your organisation's needs. 

Let's get in touch

Connect with our customised education specialists and start your learning journey

Murielle Bolsius

Client Engagement Director

Sharlene Bell

Key Account Manager

Marcos Siqueira

Key Account Manager

Sandra Koopmans

Key Account Manager