Do you want your employees to work smarter and be more productive? A great manager will invest in their staff, help them achieve their goals and grow their capabilities. Developing employees skills can lead to a more efficient workplace and help retain top talent. Here are five steps to develop your employees:
1. Create employee development plans
Step one to developing your employees is to create a development plan for each person. This involves having a one to one meeting and setting out short and long-term career objectives. It is also an opportunity to discuss individual interests and discover what drives each individual. Some will have definite career goals and others will be unsure. Take your time with each individual and take time to define what each plan looks like. Then, once you have identified their objectives you can identify the necessary skills, knowledge and competencies that support those goals.
2. Roadmap to success
The development plan should provide a roadmap for the employee that includes a timeframe for achieving each objective. It should also detail what education or training will be required to achieve each goal. Additionally, the plan should lay out the training, education or projects required to help them achieve success. For example;
- One on one coaching or mentoring
- New projects and stretch assignments
- Types of training and education courses available
3. Provide performance metrics
Communicating key performance metrics for each individual is vital to the success of the development plan. Each individual should know how their development is being measured and what they need to achieve in order to accomplish their goals. Each individual plan will contain different metrics at different time intervals that are agreed on by both parties. Measuring progress will help drive and motivate the person to achieve their objectives and give them a sense of achievement at every stage. It will also allow the employee to be accountable for their development.
If an employee is going back to education or taking a short course it is important that expectations are discussed. Do you expect the employee to achieve a certain grade on the programme? Do you want them to implement what they have learned on the course in their job or take on new responsibilities?
4. Engaging the employee
In addition to the development plan, involving employees in challenging assignments and projects will keep them engaged and promote their development. This will help them establish new skills and ideas and stretch their capabilities. Also, ask for input from your staff and use their suggestions where relevant. By engaging individuals in a project, they will be more invested in seeing the project succeeding. Engaging employees in this way can empower them and result in higher productivity as you can delegate tasks.
5. Provide coaching and mentoring
Finally, being a mentor to one or a few of your employees can help them develop immensely. Alternatively, help them to find a mentor that can help guide their development. Mentoring relationships can help employees to identify career skills that they lack and help them to become more experienced in an area of the organisation they wish to know more about. Also, mentoring relationships benefit both the employee and the organisation as ultimately they create value for both. Similarly, coaching can offer an employee the motivation they need to develop. It enables positive feedback opportunities.