By Karen Colligan, Peoplethink.biz
Keep Your People! Make Development a Priority Working with leaders, teams and organizations to improve their eﬀectiveness, it’s apparent that for many, learning and development has taken a back seat to, well, just getting the job done. Getting the product out… acquiring new customers…all while working lean and OVER-working everyone. This is short-sighted and a sure-ﬁre way to encourage top talent out the door. If you want to keep that talent and grow your business you’ve got to provide opportunities for your people to learn and grow. The best way to do that is by creating and implementing eﬀective employee development plans. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:
Create career path outlines. People want to know what’s next for them, what skills and experience they will need to get there, and the opportunities available for them to learn and develop those skills. People will be more engaged and loyal if they can see a future for themselves in the organization.
Develop for future needs. Development plans should take into consideration organizational goals and the skills and behaviors employees will need to contribute to achieving those goals. According to a report from the World Economic Forum, the top 10 skills will be: 1. Complex problem solving 2. Critical thinking 3. Creativity 4. People management 5. Coordinating with others 6. Emotional intelligence 7. Judgment and decision making 8. Service orientation 9. Negotiation 10. Cognitive ﬂexibility
Consider employee goals and interests. It’s
Incorporate development into Performance Management. According to a recent Gallup poll, 48% of employees say that they are reviewed just once a year. And only 14% say that the performance reviews they receive inspire them to improve. That’s no surprise. The annual performance review —dreaded by managers, hated by employees— typically focuses on weaknesses, and rarely includes a development component. How inspiring is that? Eﬀective performance management is a continuous process (not an event) and includes a development component that both builds on strengths and develops areas that are not a strength.
Creating, implementing and supporting development plans for your employees will not only help keep them loyal and engaged, it will ensure that your organization is ready for the challenges and opportunities of the future. ◆
Ensure job descriptions are current and well-defined. Roles often morph over time as
responsibilities expand or business needs change. This can be frustrating to the individual in the role—and detrimental to the team/organization —if training around new skill requirements and responsibilities isn’t included with the change.
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also essential that individual employee career goals and personal interests be taken into account in development plans. All too often employees have skills and talents that are under-utilized. Take the time to identify, develop and leverage those hidden talents and unspoken interests. Employees want to use their strengths and feel that they’re contributing to the organization in a meaningful way.