“As a manager, you’re responsible for leading, inspiring, influencing, encouraging and getting results fro others. It’s a difficult task because each person youwork with has a different personaliuty, system of values and beliefs, attitude, and level of self-confidence.”
~Suzanne Updegraff, Author, Business Leader, CEO
Do you consider developing your team members as critical to strengthening the organization and improving its bottom line? Why is employee development a persistent problem in so many organizations? In a recent Forbes article, author, Victor Abrams shared some interesting ideas as to why development planning is so frequently ignored.
- We’re all too frantic. Just as Stephen Covey taught us in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it’s critical to clarify and prioritize the important and non-urgent tasks in our day. If managers are constantly putting out fires in their day-to-day operations, long-term planning doesn’t seem valuable.
- We overlap too many systems and evaluations, but seldom follow through on them. So many employee development or evaluation systems have become over-developed and cumbersome, that they become dreaded by most leaders and are almost certainly put at the end of the line when it comes to our busy schedules. When the documentation and processes are finally complete, we’re just relieved to have gotten that far, and never want to think about them again!
- We’re out of time. Of course, everyone is. In a world where “busy” is the new “fine,” leaders have to constantly remind themselves that there is always time for important activities. In the words of Covey, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” By now, like most successful leaders, you likely realize that development planning is important, so make time for it!
Employees value work that has meaning. Meaningful work even takes priority over salary! If you don’t participate actively in their development, employees will disengage. Taking a genuine interest in employees’ career plans give you a hand in their professional presence, personal effectiveness, accountability, and ultimately, their productivity.
Take a look at your current employee development programs, and decide the kinds of programs you could implement that address the overall professional presence and personal effectiveness of your employees. Generational conflicts, learning how to give feedback or giving them practical tools improve teamwork skills should be at the top of your list. As Victor Abrams remarks, “Good talented people naturally want to advance, and appreciate meaningful support in the process.”
A recent study carried out by the Harvard Business Review (published in July, 2012) showed that capable and ambitious employees WANT training and mentoring. If your organization doesn’t provide it, your emerging high performers will spend their lunch hour polishing up their resumes.
As the Harvard Business Review article stated:
“Dissatisfaction with some employee-development efforts appears to fuel many early exits. We asked young managers what their employers do to help them grow in their jobs and what they’d like their employers to do, and found some large gaps. Workers reported that companies generally satisfy their needs for on-the-job development and that they value these opportunities, which include high-visibility positions and significant increases in responsibility. But they’re not getting much in the way of formal development, such as training, mentoring and coaching – things they also value highly.”
We have been in the business of developing employees for over three decades, and invite you to learn more about our programs or contact us to talk about how your organization utilizes employee development tools to improve effectiveness, increase professional presence and the productivity if your employees.