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Your 3 Biggest Employee Gaps (PART 2): Old School Development

‘Learning opportunities are among the largest drivers of employee engagement and strong workplace culture – they are part of the entire employee value proposition, not merely a way to build skills’. – Deloitte

The days of sending an employee to a one-day seminar and grabbing coffee to talk about goals are long gone- and they should be. It’s amazing that leaders will sound off their disappointment about an employee when the training program was, “Hey, congrats on your promotion. Hang out with Fritzy over there for a week and let me know if you have questions. Don’t be afraid to go for it!” 

Expectations Have Changed

Today, the expectations are much higher for promotion, why wouldn’t that be the same for development? Moreover, leaders bemoan lack of engagement, yet aren’t engaged in their staff. Humans want growth. Growth drives interest and excitement. Excitement and interest drives engagement. Gap closed.

Look, I am the first to tell my employees that they “own their own development’, but I certainly have a responsibility (and genuine interest) to mentor, coach and support my as they formulate and execute on a plan. We put the ingredients in the bowl together, but the employee has to stir. It’s their responsibility to execute the strategies and tactics. They must add the energy and enthusiasm. I am certainly engaged. I spend an 1 hour of prep for every hour we spend together dreaming, building, and coaching to a success plan.

Defining a Great Development Plan

An effective and engaging plan includes:

  • Collaborative Goal setting (based off of natural Behavioral Strengths and Motivators)
  • Relative Skills training (to become an expert in current role)
  • Relevant stretch opportunity (once job performance is above standard) to provide learn and “be seen in the role”
  • Shadowing next role to ensure “job fit” and to provide exposure to future peer/leader group
  • Informational Interview with peer and leader of desired role 

The bullets above boil down to a 3 Step Formula: Performance, Image, Exposure (P.I.E.). Simply put, ensure the employee is performing in current role first. Then provide opportunities for exposure to the role and the stakeholders in the future state role. Support by making connections for your employee and coaching along the way.

Invest in Your Future

The job market is tight and employee turnover is expensive. Once you find your next superstar, invest a little time and resources to keep her! If the cost of attrition is 1.5x annual salary (some say it’s as high as 3x!) the payoff is HUGE! P.S. It is really fun and fulfilling as well 🙂

(Stay tuned for Part 3…)

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