Actionable Employee Development Ideas that Engage

Idea 5 is to implement a process to improve Employee Development. The steps below are one way you can utilize employee development to improve engagement and your team. If you can get your employees excited about new opportunities that they are interested in and good at, and then put them in a position to succeed, you will improve your team and employee satisfaction.

Step 1: Meet one on one to discuss your employee’s goals and to set a development plan. Start out with some good questions which could include some of the following:

  • What are you short term goals?
  • What are you long term goals?
  • What do you hope to be doing in 5 years?
  • What do you like about your job?
  • What do you not like about your job?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What skills to you need to develop to meet your goals?
  • How can I help?

Step 2: Think about what you learned and now think about the needs and goals of the group. How can you help your employee meet their goals while also improving your team? Try your best to align the employee goals with the group goals. For example, I often have employees who want to be trainers. I utilize these employees to help train my team to improve weak spots.

Step 3: Meet back with the employee and let him/her know you have been thinking about them and how they can help the group succeed. Throw out some ideas from step 2 and then listen and get their feedback. They might even have some ideas. This will be the basis for the employee’s development plan. If you already have a development plan at your work, that is fine, just make sure to consider the employee’s strengths, weaknesses, goals and thoughts before completing it together. This plan must be one that you both agree will help the employee and team.

Note- don’t automatically give the employee whatever they want, you need to make sure the employee is ready (or close to it) before giving the opportunity. It’s okay to take a chance if you believe in them, but it’s fine to take it slow too. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask the employee to improve in some areas before you throw them into the fire. I personally don’t mind taking a chance on someone as long as they are committed to working hard. I have seen the biggest improvements by employees who were never given a chance before. Have a safety net though, for me, if I let someone teach a class for the first time, I also prepare for the class in case I need to jump in and help.

Step 4: You must stay involved in this process. As you see new opportunities that match the learning plan you must help your employee get these. Follow up and see how it is going. Don’t forget about the employee. Every time see a new opportunity I think about each team member and ask myself if they would be a good fit.

Step 5: Help the employee adjust and stay on track. Ask questions including some of the following:

  • What did you learn?
  • What could you do better next time?
  • Did this experience change your goals at all?

Step 6: Recognize and follow up. Tell your employee what they did well and thank them personally for their hard work. For example, if they trained the team, present them with an award for making a difference on the team. This will help get them excited about future opportunities. Make sure to follow up with the employee often to see how they are doing and what they need to succeed. Revisit this often but at least annually.

Next time we will talk more about employee recognition. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

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