November's Learn and Go topic is Developing Potential.
Register for the November 19th Webinar Here
As a primer, here are a few tips to help you unlock the potential of your employees:
1. Help employees assess their skills
Help people understand their strengths and development needs by providing opportunities for them to assess themselves. Here are a few pointers:
- Use the quarterly or mid-year performance ‘check-in’ as a way to gauge progress on skills and other self-development.
- Use 360 degree feedback tools to allow people to assess themselves and learn how others view them. This is a key component of self-awareness. If everybody else is telling an employee that they have a development need in a certain area, but the employee fails to ‘own’ it, there is a self-awareness problem.
- When you have a case of an individual who is in denial, as it relates to development opportunities uncovered in a 360 degree or other objective assessment, it will likely derail the development process.
2. Assist employees with the creation of Individual Development Plans (IDPs)
The most lasting and effective development occurs when there is a comprehensive and formalized development plan. Taking a class or two, without being part of a larger development plan, has limited impact. The use of Individual Developments Plans (IDPs) are too often reserved solely for high potential employees. If all of the attention is being focused on the ‘A’ players, your ‘B’ players will sense that their potential is not being developed, and may look to leave the organization as a result.
- Limit the number of development opportunities to a couple at a time.
- Try to build in opportunities to incorporate daily action into the plan. Smaller daily activities will yield better results than one big burst at a time.
- Focus on job development activities that allow for on-the-job learning (70% of the time)
- Includes milestones to track and sustain progress.
3. Help employees stay on track
It is true that the personal accountability for fulfilling development commitments resides with the employee. But as is the case with your New Year’s resolutions, it never hurts to have someone to help you get refocused on your objectives.
- Regularly check on people’s progress toward their development goals. If they are falling behind, it will quickly become apparent that they need to step it up.
- To prevent discouragement, set reasonable intermediate goals. A series of small wins keep people motivated.
- Make achieving self-development commitments a goal on their performance review.
4. Close the Loop on Development
People need to be able to reflect on what they have learned. Otherwise, you run the risk of having them get lost in a string of disconnected activities. After each developmental activity it is important to debrief and discuss:
- What they have learned
- How they can apply it and put new their skills to use
- What went well
- What did not go well
- Next steps in the development process
For more information on this topic, please register for the Developing Potential webinar via the link above. If you need any assistance on this topic please give me a call at (919) 325-4113.
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