Newmeasures: Insights for an exceptional workforce

Skill Development

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. “

What to Know

Growth and development opportunity is often a main driver of employee engagement. In today’s workforce, people tend to stay with an organization longer when there are development opportunities; on the other hand, people are likely to look for employment elsewhere when these opportunities are lacking. Rich development opportunities attract strong talent, keep them motivated and equipped to perform well on the job, and build a culture of continuous improvement.

Mythbusters

It is easy to assume that employees know about the full range of training, learning, and development opportunities at your organization and that they feel encouraged to take advantage of them. Unfortunately, this often is not the case. Employees may be unaware of programs. People may be unsure how to apply, get funding, or meet the needed requirements. They may receive mixed messages about being encouraged to “grow as a professional” but job demands do not allow time for doing so. It takes a certain culture to offer and encourage employee growth opportunities.

What Managers Can Do

Emphasize ways to develop that are less formal — opportunities to work on innovative projects, peer-to-peer teaching/mentoring, increase in the variety of work, opportunities to share ideas.

Provide a clear avenue for employees to share their developmental needs and explore ways in which this training can be provided. Determine whether this is an individual need or training that could be provided at the group level.

Have regular one-on-one conversations with employees. What is going well? Where are you having challenges? How can I help?

When you come across something that peaks your own interest – a blog, a podcast, a good book – share it with your team. And encourage that they do the same.

Ensure that everyone on your team has at least one goal they are actively working towards. Additionally, empower your employees to select a formal or informal development activity that will help move them closer to meeting their goals.

What Employees Can Do

Be proactive about your own development. Look for cost-effective training opportunities such as webinars, free training or networking events, book clubs, lunch-and-learns, podcasts, etc. Talk with your supervisor about carving out time to pursue these opportunities.

Your manager may be more willing to support training or learning if he/she knows how it will help you in your current role. Advocate for your own development and be ready to explain how a specific opportunity you’re interested in will benefit you and your team.

What Leadership Can Do

When you come across something that peaks your own interest – a blog, a podcast, a good book — share it with your team. And encourage that they do the same.

On a regular basis, ask members of your team to share what they are currently doing to develop themselves. Emphasizing the importance of continual learning will encourage your leaders to make time for their own development and nurture growth in their teams.

Resources

How To Train & Develop Your Employees

Learning in the Age of Immediacy: 5 Factors for How We Connect, Communicate, and Get Work Done by Brandon Carson