As a business transitions through the different stages of maturity, being able to depend on others becomes essential to your success. As you personally become more focused on increasing productivity, business expansion, profitability and customer and employee loyalty, it becomes increasingly clear that your team members will either be a limiting factor or a source of unlimited opportunities.

There is a big difference between top performers and average performers. Research, and experience, has shown that well designed and executed employee training and coaching programs will strengthen employee recruiting programs, increase productivity, improve quality, reduce employee turnover, and increase profitability while minimizing the need for direct supervision or micro managing. In fact, when employees have the capacity – and the motivation – to perform their best, the company performs at its best.

When you hire new employees, are they capable of hitting the ground running or does it take longer than you would like for them to be significant contributors? Are your experienced employees continuously enhancing their skills or have they stopped growing professionally and become a drain on your organization? Companies can gain a competitive advantage by leveraging each employees’ strengths and investing in their growth.

A systematic program of training/coaching should be developed for your organization so that you can build skilled, competent staff that want to produce to their full potential. Programs for new hires should be well planned and customized to meet the specific needs of your new team members. The emotional impact of participating in well-designed training/coaching programs, starting on their first day, can do wonders for employee morale. As a result of participating in ongoing training/coaching programs, employees become committed to solving new challenges that continually arise, and believe that they are capable of solving those problems.

Here are 5 ways to develop your staff’s potential:

Show Them They’re Worth It

People feel demotivated in their workplace when they do not see their own significance. They go to the office every day with a negative frame of mind and simply want to put in their time and go home. When employees feel that their skills are appreciated and crucial for the company to work they are invested in the success of the company.

Guide Them

Many times employees are lost and do not know what to do. Having a strong training program in place allows them to see the big picture and understand expectations. Going forward they should be given both positive and constructive instruction. Strong upfront guidance will pave the way towards their independence. Guidance will help your employees be more self-sufficient.

Know Their Skills

To unfold their potentials, each person should know their strengths. Not everyone will thrive doing the same job. Likewise, not everyone can do the same job. People have different talents. Assess their strengths and weaknesses through team building, personality assessment or simple observation. Then place each person, to the maximum extent possible, in a position that complements their strengths and training.

Practice the Skills

People will only be good at something if they practice it. Even the most talented people continually train so they can attain the best possible outcome. Put a person in a situation where they have no choice but to do and practice their specific labor.

Be or Find the Employee a Good Role Model

People need to see that there is a better way, and not just be told that one way is more effective than another. People tend to look up to someone to follow. Even as kids, people look up to their parents because they see them as someone that is superior to them. Find each employee their inspiration. This may be another employee, but it may be a trusted friend in another industry. Mentors are strong influencers and can see things in an individual that you may not have noticed.

Ivesting is your employee from the beginning of their tenure with you will help ensure not only a productive worker, but a fulfilled worker that will want to give their best to the organization.