Leadership: Investing in Talent through Creating Development Opportunity
- by Mike Tulley
- 8 Aug 2018
With automation taking over administration duties, both organisations and staff are looking for wider scope within operational positions. Roles are redeveloping to involve strategic planning and projects that build the initial skill-set required within the traditional operational position.
These key market changes are creating a behavioural shift to identify real stretch and growth within an employee's capacity that optimises the opportunity beyond soon-to-be automated admin-based tasks, and into projects central to business success and employee retention.
How do you grow a role without restructuring?
Do not fear! As these shifts are prevalent in both candidate and employer markets, the task at hand is about helping great staff improve every day to help the company stay ahead of trends and excel within an ever-changing market. Through maintaining steady growth in the scope of a role and the abilities of your employees, you will offer talented staff more than your competitors, whilst adapting to new technologies within this business sector, and still growing what your company can offer.
Wendy Axelrod and Jeannie Coyle, authors of Make Talent your Business examine cost-cutting methods that synchronise managers meeting business results, whilst achieving people growth within the organisation. Through simultaneously focusing on both areas, as if they are already tethered to one another, employees are more skilled and function with greater capacity and independence, which is in the interest of both costs and time. As you identify, and then close, talent development gaps through investing in those within your organisation, you will generate more buy-in from your employees who will project the company brand, acting as a marketing tool within itself. Once you adopt this mindset by offering growth to Generation Z, your reputation will also grow organically and attract the best upcoming staff for you.
Make Every Day a Development Day
The trick is to tuck development into the normal work processes that build suitable stretch. This can come from allocating jobs that are routine for you but can be a good learning opportunity for others, which will then free your time to be better allocated. When assigning tasks, articulate what needs to be learnt, rather than purely what needs to be completed. In doing so, you will also outline to yourself what core skills lie within your employee's position whilst projecting a possible area for your employee's growth.
Tap the Psychological Side of Development
By utilising and tapping into your own Emotional Intelligence, you evolve capabilities to identify problem areas within your employee's own development. Generation Z requires relationships built on trust as they're looking to adopt more responsibility in the workspace, and they're looking for leadership to drive that growth. Those that can self-manage emotion, whilst demonstrating sensitivity to a multitude of workers in the business, will attract this new talent as Diversity and Inclusion is a social initiative close to candidate's hearts.
Connect People with Development Partners
As Generation Z are seeking variety and dynamism within their roles, and are fresh into the workspace, there will be areas of their professional experience that they may want to grow. Of course, if they are talented and have profit potential for the business, then this is an area to invest in.
By identifying these areas, you can search for the right development partners who can continue growing your employee and the complexities of learning. This can boil down to simple pairing with those who are knowledgeable within the areas of interest. These small introductions produce a really positive growth that is flexible around the core business requirements of the role, whilst encouraging improved overall company culture.
Shape Your Environment to Drive Development
Create an abundance focused meeting, work on development questions, insisting on learning debriefs, insist on learning debriefs at the end of projects. Ideally, the target is to create a positive learning environment to shine a light on those excelling within the company, including yourself. This can be as simple as letting a colleague shine in a meeting when discussing an area of work they have been developing.
Put Exceptional Practices into Action
Of course, integrating key development practices into your leadership style could be a personal development. Within this process, you will be joining in the evolution of the company as you encourage employee upskilling. Through being resilient in new challenges and learning curves, you will be creating a forward-thinking environment that strives for company best practice and delivery of business results.
Through investing in talent for the longer progression you will generate great employee buy-in that continues this generation's education when first entering the business world.
now that we've established a pattern of practices to invest in training employees, let's look at how we can measure ROI on training and development. As we all know, it's great to set out with this plans, and with an engaged workforce, a positive growth environment, and offer credit where due.
Measuring ROI on Learning and Training
Measuring ROI in this space boils down to feedback systems and encouraging an open discourse to increase and improve training through an honest method that identifies areas for development.
1. Start Asking Questions Before the Training Starts
Instructional Training requires a structure around the process to deliver the best results. Through establishing your employee's motivation and expectations, you can incorporate their goals into your session. Use open questions based on targets, challenges, success, and their own unique style within the role, establish common themes, and then throughout the training draw these into meetings to analyse development.
2. Measure Actions as well as Words
Employees may overestimate the extent to which they were engaged in a training session. An easy way to measure engagement levels, you can measure your employees learning development in real-time through testing knowledge and active participation within an exercise. You are then positioned to see results and benchmark sessions in order to continue growth and identify problem areas.
3. Align Sessions with a View of Practical Integration
Theoretical work behind a subject can provide a good understanding of the topic at hand. Through presenting scenarios, asking multiple choice questions, and peer review, you induce a state of learning that realistically aligns with pressures within the situation. By providing this option, individual's can learn to asses a circumstance through an educated and practised lens and learn of the potentialities, before they are presented with the real-life scenario.
4. Real-Life Application
Following from the training sessions, your employee can begin engaging with the trained activity within a practical environment. Within this period, you need to encourage your employee to discuss any upcoming issues or queries to ensure that training is conducive, and if there are gaps within the learning, this can be identified before impacting business.
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