June 20, 2023

How employee development for all, not just executives, benefits organizations

In today’s competitive business environment, companies are constantly looking for ways to improve their bottom line. One way to do this is to invest in leadership development and coaching. These programs help executives and leadership improve their management and strategic skills, ultimately equipping them to navigate their teams toward success.

But what happens if you offer development to everyone — all employees — and not just executives?

When you offer employee development to everyone, you create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Employees learn to consider and adopt different perspectives, learn the value of differing experiences, and learn new ways to collaborate. What’s more, when companies invest in the development of everyone’s skillset and knowledge, this leads to increased productivity, innovation, and profitability for their companies.

In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of providing employee development for all your employees, the value in prioritizing DEIB-focused development, how coaching and mentoring reinforce employee growth, and the return organizations can expect when they invest in their people in this way.

Why your organization must prioritize employee development

Companies that actively choose to invest in the development of all their people — helping them to hone their strengths and grow their skills — enhance each individual’s ability to perform in their role. These days, employee development opportunities aren’t simply a nice-to-have benefit for employers, they’re often a must-have for job seekers considering offers.

SHRM highlighted in their 2022 Workplace Learning & Development Trends report that more than 8 in 10 HR managers believe training is beneficial to attracting (83%) and retaining (86%) talent, and that 48% of many employees agree that training opportunities were a factor in choosing their current company.

So, why else should you be considering offering development programs and opportunities for all of your employees? Here are some of the tangible and intangible benefits you can expect:

  • Improved employee engagement — When given opportunities to develop and grow, employees are more likely to engage and remain engaged in their work. This leads to increased productivity, creativity, and innovation.
  • Reduce employee turnover — People are less likely to seek new employment opportunities and leave their jobs when they feel they are valued and have existing opportunities to grow and advance with their current employer. As a result, organizations save money on hiring and training costs and keep important roles filled.
  • Increased diversity of thought — Investing in the development of all people, enabling all employees to improve their capabilities, leads to a more diverse range of perspectives in the workplace. This will improve decision-making and problem-solving while also creating a more inclusive work environment.
  • Reduced unconscious bias — Employee development programs that include DEIB curriculum help participants develop an expanded capacity to more effectively collaborate with teammates of different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. This develops employees’ awareness of their biases and enables them to make more informed decisions.
  • Enhance company reputation — Companies committed to DEIB attract and retain top talent by creating a work environment that supports all people. Their investment in their people and the future success of their organization make them a desirable place to work and improves their reputation.

3 key outcomes of DEIB-focused training and development

When diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) efforts are incorporated into training, learning, and development programs, organizations and their employees become more inclusive both in their way of thinking and in how they operate. Companies see shared commonalities evolve into the principles behind which people unify, aligning leaders, strengthening organizational purpose, and generating meaningful change.

For example, Fortune and Deloitte’s 2021 survey reported that inclusive teams outperform their peers by 80% in team-based assessments and that diverse companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee.

There are a number of reasons to ensure the employee development your company offers incorporates DEIB components into its programs. Here are just a few of the beneficial outcomes and ways we’ve seen teams go about integrating a focus on inclusivity into their education and training programs.

  1. Create more inclusive and respectful workplaces — Programs that focus on unconscious bias training help employees increase their awareness of their own biases and how they (biases) might be impacting their interactions and ability to collaborate with others.
  2. Build stronger relationships and a more inclusive culture — Incorporating cultural competency training into employee development programs helps employees better understand and respect the many and varied cultural backgrounds represented in their workplace.
  3. Develop a more diverse team of leaders — Offering leadership development in addition to the DEIB training supports employees in developing the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in leadership roles. This creates a more diverse pool of future leaders.

How coaching and mentoring reinforce employee development

As important as this employee development is, it stands little to no chance of benefitting your organization if that growth is not reinforced and maintained. One of the ways to solidify the earned gains of your employees and advance learned skills is through coaching and mentoring.

Coaching presents employees with a one-on-one relationship with a professional coach who offers them guidance, support, and additional development that helps them achieve the goals they’ve set for themselves. Often, these coaches are external to the company, such as Bravely. We work with a number of individual professional coaches to grant companies like yours the ability to provide transformative company-wide coaching for every employee at all levels so they can thrive throughout the career moments that matter.

Coaching can help you foster organizational well-being, support learning and development, and amplify skill development among employees. Find out how Bravely Coaching can help you.

Mentoring is often thought of as similar, but it is typically less formal than coaching. In this relationship, mentors provide their mentees with advice, support, and guidance on a variety of topics typically related to their work life, including career development, personal development, and networking. While an employee’s mentor can be external to their company (not a colleague), they can also be an internal more senior employee.


Offering employee development for all employees, not just executives, is simply a must. Prioritizing development opportunities for everyone — especially when incorporating DEIB-focused programs and components — creates much more diverse, equitable, and inclusive places of work that nurture growth for everyone. Companies that take this approach can expect to see increased productivity, improved innovation, reduced turnover, and an enhanced company reputation, among many other benefits. At the individual and team levels, some expected outcomes include better decision-making, increased creativity, and enhanced problem-solving, all of which contribute to improved operational performance.

If you’re interested in learning about how we at Bravely can support you and your company, check out Bravely Learning, our first-of-its-kind learning platform. With coaching at its core, Bravely Learning maximizes employee development and boosts retention of learning, improving L&D ROI.

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