Being a leader means that you have many responsibilities besides just showing up to the office, assigning tasks and solving problems with your team. One of the most important responsibilities you’ll face is empowering your employees with the ability to move onward and upward and always forward. I don’t look at my employees as static pieces of furniture, but as talented individuals capable of great things. This isn’t just a statement, it is a strong feeling of confidence and trust in my team.

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Taking care to ensure your employees have the right skill sets to keep moving forward in their careers and life isn’t as complicated as you might think. There are easy ways, as a leader, to encourage continuous learning and education through everyday interactions. This can start on day one, with laying out a clear vision for advancement within the organization for your hires. Letting them know that they have a path, achievements to aspire to adds to higher morale and shows that you are invested in their success.

Handling employees like this from the start will help to create a healthy work environment that encourages continuous learning. It will also help employees want to improve themselves through self-motivation. Focus on working on continuous training and improvement procedures into normal routines. Work with your training and development team to create new programs and materials to train at all levels of personal development. Some employees might have higher aspirations than others, but all will need some level of continuing education within the workplace.

One of the best ways to encourage continuous learning is through cross-training. Training across departments shows that you not only have faith in your employees pertaining to the job they are currently doing but also in handling other tasks within the organization. This helps create a wealth of knowledge for each cross-trained employee that will assist their advancement inside or outside your company. This shows employees that you don’t expect them to be locked into a particular role forever and support whatever growth opportunities that may present themselves whether internally or externally.

While investing in proper technology is often one of the best ways to ensure your team has the tools to succeed, this must go hand in hand with making sure that the proper learning tools are installed within that technology ecosystem. Computer-based learning, training programs, and interactive class-based training all help to create a growth and development plan that employees can get behind. Seeing that they have not only the opportunity to further their knowledge base but the tools to do so goes a long way.

Creating an environment where personal training and development is just as important as the inherent values of your company will create employees who are excited to come to work every day. It will show them that you are invested in their personal selves as much or if not more than what they contribute to the business on daily basis. It isn’t about just showing up to work every day, it’s about learning and constantly moving forward. Having a personal growth plan and providing continuous education tools means a lot to a good portion of your team, who are always, like you, moving forward.