The Elements

By Andrea Schlapia   |   October 28, 2014

Is Your Team Green and Growing or Ripe and Rotting? Here’s Why Employee Development Is Necessary to Your Success

Categories: Blog, Human Element, Team Development

Why Employee Development Is Necessary to Your Success


“Are you green and growing or ripe and rotting?”

I love this quote by Ray Kroc. In fact, I have it framed in my home as a reminder to never stop learning. For those of you who don’t know, Ray Kroc was an American businessman who joined McDonald’s in 1954. His strict standards and automation implementation turned McDonald’s into the most successful fast food operation in the world.

Kroc was well known for his disciplined approach. Franchise owners were carefully chosen based on their ambition and drive. They were required to complete a training course at “Hamburger University” in Elk Grove, Illinois. They earned certificates in “hamburgerology with a minor in french fries.” Read more here about “Hamburger University” and Ray Kroc.

Too often we downplay the importance of investing in our human capital. Your team is the most important component to the success of your firm. Firms that understand the value of professional development are better positioned than others to adapt to the ever changing demands in the financial industry. Competency and effectiveness are higher in these firms, and the impact on company performance contributes to the overall success of your firm. The investment you make in your employees provides you with an improved culture and bottom line.

The Value of Professional Development

With human nature, it is easy to become complacent. When leaders support complacency, your team may begin to follow suit and go along with the status quo. Team members who thrive may become restless and start looking for a new career that is rewarding, challenging, and promotes professional development. Both of these scenarios are detrimental and costly to your bottom line.

Professional development programs provide valuable outcomes for both your firm and employees. A recent study performed by Quantum Workforce tells us that professional development will:

  • Make Employees Feel Valued
  • Strengthen Employee Retention
  • Increase Product Quality

Training opportunities lead employees to feeling valued; which in turn boosts engagement, productivity, motivation, and better job performance. As leaders, we need to incorporate a strategic process for professional development and link it to the likelihood of success or failure in achieving overall firm objectives and goals.

How to Implement an Employee Development Program

Employee development requires you to create and model a culture where your team learns intentionally. Listed below are action steps to implement an effective employee development program for both managers and team members.

Manager Actions:

  • Provide clear and concise job descriptions
  • Identify required training to meet the basic competencies for each position
  • Review the long-term goals of your firm and gain insight into the knowledge, abilities, and skills that will be required in the future to meet each goal
  • Explain the employee development program along with performance and behavioral expectations to all staff
  • Encourage employees to develop individual plans
  • Look for learning opportunities in day-to-day activities
  • Provide positive and corrective feedback; acknowledge the contributions of each team member and how they contribute to the success of the firm

Employee Actions:

  • Prepare an individual professional development plan by identifying short and long-term goals
  • Look for learning opportunities in day-to-day activities

Employee training and development is a shared responsibility between your firm and each employee. Managers must be onboard to support the efforts of team members by providing the right resources, nurture them, and protect the company culture to support growth and development.

You can’t afford to have ripe and rotting teams.

Prepare, protect, and nurture your human capital.


The foundation of our Performance Coaching and Consulting Programs are based on Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™, which is essential to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Our ultimate goal is to help you avoid trial and error; shifting your mindset to launch your process of intentional change. [LEARN MORE]

Photo credit: ©iStock/Getty Images



Andrea Schlapia
Organizational Development and Human Capital

Andrea Schlapia, RCC™, HCS, sHRBP, is the Founder and CEO of Ironstone, which represents the culmination of her 20+ year career within the financial services industry. Her experience began as a financial advisor evolving into a consultant coach for advisors entering the field. This ignited her passion to support others through learning and development of best practices in order to achieve substantial results. To this end, she followed her desire into positions of senior-level practice management specialists for Dreyfus, Prudential, and DWS Investments prior to the realization of Ironstone.  Andrea’s focus is on practice management strategies to enhance and improve both business and personal life.

Andrea identifies 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Through coaching sessions and speaking engagements, she captivates her audience with interactive, high-energy presentations which are built with “how-to” strategies resulting in real-world implementation for significant impact. Andrea has been featured in multiple publications and audio broadcasts as a specialist and distinguished spokeswoman in the financial industry.

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