Some people develop faster than others. Even if you and one of your siblings are identical twins, chances are one of you will be able to crawl faster or speak more fluently than the other. And when you both grow up, you might be good at the arts or something involving creativity, while your brother might develop some other skill more akin to logical thinking and analysis.
At work, the concept of employee development is always present in the minds of managers and bosses. What is the best way to do it? How can one put in place mechanisms that work for all?
While the answers to these and other questions are not easy, there are still ways to develop your staff. Here are some of the most effective ones.
If you want to create a wonderful site, you need the services of a skilled web development team. Likewise, if you desire to have qualified employees, you should invest in their training. And you should do this not only once or twice a year but as much as possible.
Of course, companies have neither the time nor the financial resources to have their staff training constantly. It would be both expensive and counterproductive. After all, a business doesn’t make money by getting their employees to attend seminars and lectures during work time.
Still, most managers and people in higher-level positions fail to recognize that training doesn’t have to be formal to be effective. You don’t have to pay somebody else to do it and establish fixed schedules during the day. Instead, training includes coaching others on specific tasks, assigning mentors to younger staff, and teaching general but useful skills like business communication, email writing, and presentations.
British-American author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek once said, “leadership is about empowering others to achieve things they did not think possible.” Perhaps what he meant was that true leaders are not looking for followers. They are looking to create other leaders.
From a company organizational perspective, this entails a variety of things. A few of the most important ones include:
- Giving people the opportunity to be involved in decision-making. While the final decision will still lie on upper management, by involving people in preliminary processes you are letting them know their opinion is valuable and worth listening to.
- Having excellent junior staff attend managerial meetings. Even if they stay silent, by listening to how those with expertise discuss company matters, they will be learning how to conduct them themselves in the future.
There are also plenty of others. The key is to create an environment that fosters personal development and growth.
Constructive Criticism and Praise
Nobody is perfect. No matter how skilled you are, how long you have been working on a particular task, or how easy a job might seem, you will make mistakes. And so will everybody else. As a result, few things are more important to employee development than providing useful feedback that includes constructive criticism and praise.
Most managers and department heads already know this. It isn’t something novel or groundbreaking. Yet, not many of them are familiar with the adequate ways to do it. They give criticism without providing specific reasons or ways to improve. And when they offer praise, it is too general and therefore easily forgotten or put to the side.
For feedback to be productive, it should be honest and task-based. It should also provide clear guidelines for improvement and set timelines to achieve better results.
Leading by Example
Many parents in the United States wonder why their children are a bit lazy and oftentimes overweight. But when you look in the refrigerators and cupboards inside their homes, the only thing you can find are bags upon bags of chips, ice cream, soda, and fried food. It is usually a case of “do as I say, not as I do.”
If you want your children to be healthy, don’t tell them to exercise and eat fruits and vegetables. Rather, go to the park with them, cook dishes with protein, vitamins, and minerals, and join them at the gym or in a sports club. Only then will they follow you and realize the importance of fitness and proper nutrition.
The same goes for company owners and entrepreneurs. If you wish to develop your staff so that they can move your organization forward, then lead by example. Show them how to achieve greatness and give examples of the kind of behavior you are expecting from them.
Four ways to develop employees are providing them with training, building leadership, offering constructive criticism and timely praise, and leading others by example. No matter the industry you are in, they are tried and tested principles that will reap the biggest benefits to your organization.