(3-5 minute read)
Deeply in tune with employees’ career aspirations and the company’s mission, great leaders are committed to creating an environment promoting ongoing professional development. Continuous development lets employees hone their skills and pursue new career opportunities, while allowing the organization to avoid the costly impact of high employee turnover. (Employees are far less likely to leave if they feel their employers are committed to helping them grow their skills and knowledge.)
Career development is a two-way initiative; both the leader and the employee must participate for the endeavor to succeed. No matter how inspiring a leader may be, the effort will fail if the employee refuses to engage. Provided the employee wants to realize their potential and the leader is determined to help them along the way, they can be guided toward success.
Leaders can steer the way by fostering a culture that develops employees, creating a career development path, and building rapport with employees.
Fostering a Culture that Develops Employees
A workplace plagued with disengaged workers, poor performance, low morale and high employee turnover signals a culture in dire need of reform. Such workplaces typically share a common denominator: a culture lacking development.
With the average employee today expecting opportunities for advancement when they join a new company, leaders must aim for a culture that advocates growth. Smart leaders understand this need for professional development among the modern generation, and therefore place employee development at the helm of their strategic and succession plans.
To establish a culture of development, leaders must show that they are committed to helping employees achieve their goals. For example, posting openings for promotions and transfers and encouraging qualified employees to apply shows your dedication to meeting both the company’s and employees’ goals.
Creating a Career Development Path
A career development path provides employees with an ongoing mechanism for improving their skills and knowledge—with the end goal being to maximize their potential and productivity.
Designing the career path is an intricate process that involves identifying core competencies, expected behaviors, and training/development needs. You will need to take an honest look at the employee’s skills, knowledge, experience and personal characteristics to determine what the employee needs to progress in her career. This means deciphering how the employee’s skills deficits can be addressed through training/development and which training programs are best for administering and tracking learning/development.
Ongoing training/development is a core component of the career path. Even high performers need ongoing training, as it helps to keep their skills and knowledge sharp and prevents them from losing momentum. By providing ongoing opportunities for development, you express your willingness to invest in your employees’ future—which will, in turn, inspire them to aim even higher. Opportunities for development may include:
Building Rapport with Employees
Without effective communication, it’s virtually impossible to create a culture of respect, trust, and support. It’s also very difficult to know what your employees need to succeed, since there’s no better way to find out than to communicate with the employee in question. The reality is… failure to properly communicate with employees is a recipe for the disaster.
For example, poor communication causes a skewed view of the employee’s capabilities and misalignment of employee-organization goals. The result is a ripple effect that adversely impacts the career path and the bottom line. To avoid this catastrophe, senior leaders must strive for a culture of communication and alignment, which allows managers to build rapport with employees and gain the information they need to set them on the right path.
January 3, 2019
> 50 employees < 50 employees Article Business Management Culture