Employee Development Requires Some Pain on the Employees Part
When you think of employee development what comes to your mind? Do you think of long “spray and pray” webinars or seminars? Or maybe worse, you only think of the once a year employee development plan you are required to complete.
Whatever you may think, one thing is for sure, developing employees requires meaningful engagement on the leaders part. It can’t be the employees to own alone. Employee development must be a partnership between the leader and the employee.
There is one thing that you can do that will make all the difference in terms of employee development – create pain. Without pain, there is no gain, and I’m not talking about muscle, I’m talking about employee development. Providing those you lead experiences that stretch them is probably the single most important thing you can do in developing employees. Here are five things to keep in mind when providing stretch assignments in developing employees.
1. Ensure that the assignment is a good match for the employees skills, is interesting and that he or she has the ability and emotional soundness to complete it successfully. The assignment needs to be challenging, but not impossible.
2. Be specific and very clear on the assignment. In addition, make sure you are clear on what the employee should learn and how it will benefit him or her.
3. Provide the resources needed to do well. If the assignment is to lead a new project, for example, make sure the employee has access to the right documents, tools and contacts etc… to be successful.
4. Schedule time to meet with the employee on a regular basis to talk about progress, to discuss lessons learned and to provide specific feedback. Provide lots of encouragement.
5. Celebrate successes. Employee development should be somewhat painful, but like all accomplishments there should be great satisfaction. Leaders play a key role in helping employees feel good about what has been accomplished.
Employee development is an investment for both the employee and leader and is one of the most important things a leader can do. Harvey Firestone said: “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”
What have you done that has been successful in developing employees? Do you have a tip or two you could share? We would love to hear from you.
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