By: Kathy Albarado on April 22nd, 2009

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DC Companies Leading the Way with Employee Development

Apollo Awards

Best Practices of Helios HR Apollo Awards Finalists

The Helios HR Apollo Awards recognize Washington, DC-based businesses that place an intentional focus on employee development. When you invest in your people, your business wins ten-fold. Employees appreciate that you care about their growth and future, and your clients and business operations feel that ripple effect. It also helps you to identify future leaders for your organization.

You probably already know why employee development matters though, so let's get to what these organizations are doing that sets them apart! At a high level, some of the practices and tools used by Apollo Awards finalists included:

  • job swapping
  • robust and formal orientation programs
  • consistent brown-bag training luncheons
  • targeted career coaching
  • leveraging the use of technology through learning management systems
  • knowledge management programs, and
  • structured on-the-job training.

Hundreds of nominations were reviewed by an independent panel of judges with vast industry experience and were narrowed down to 27 finalists across four categories. We culled through the applications of our finalists and found some very innovative and exciting ideas that we wanted to share to assist you in integrating training and career development opportunities into your own organizational culture.

Top 4 Tips with Employee Development from Leading Employers

Below are the top 4 tips that should prove very useful in promoting and supporting employee development. 

1. Effective onboarding is vital to fostering retention, increasing productivity, and enhancing the professional development of your team.

One Apollo Awards finalist company believes the philosophy "career development is synonymous with team member engagement." For this company, career development begins during new hire orientation and assimilation.

2. Aid each individual employee in the progress of their professional career.

This Apollo Awards finalist offers an abundance of career development opportunities for their employees, beginning with a two-day "Boot Camp" for all new hires and continuing with a Talent Management Program, a formalized Meet the CEO program, and mandatory career coaching.

3. Cross-train team members in other functional areas.

Imagine training a workforce where approximately 75 percent of the team is home-based. Employees in this company do not have the opportunity to learn from others by simply "walking around the office", so this Apollo Awards finalist had to get creative to effectively cross-train employees and determine the best methods of communication to stay connected and ensure everyone was in alignment.

4. Encourage employees at all levels to bring any manager new ideas and suggestions for improving procedures, processes, and efficiencies.

Employees and managers at all levels in this Apollo Awards finalist organization bring ideas and suggestions to each other on development and growth opportunities. They foster an atmosphere of openness where upward, downward, and cross-departmental communication is truly embraced.

Helios HR congratulates all of our Apollo Awards finalists. These organizations demonstrate a commitment to fostering a culture of continuous learning and employee development! We encourage you to attend the Apollo Awards ceremony on June 5th at the Fairview Park Marriott where we will recognize our finalists and winners and share additional best practices presented by nominating companies.