In last week’s blog post we explored the importance of career planning when it comes to developing each employee. Career planning is a useful tool for identifying an individual’s ambitions, skills, and opportunities to grow in the long term.

Develop People Through Specific Actions

Not all development needs to be formal or regimented as Gwen Moran notes in her Fast Company article, How to Help Build Employees’ Career Paths So They Don’t Quit. Growing and developing can also happen through everyday activities and assignments.

One of the best ways to grow an employee is to connect them with a mentor figure, someone who’s knowledge and insight has been proven over the years. One of the goals in mentoring is to teach the mentee how to solve problems and gain the confidence and self-awareness needed to handle tough situations.

Employees who’ve shown that they’ve gained a greater perspective can then go on to mentor others. Providing this opportunity is a great development step that benefits everyone, including the leader.

Employees benefit from learning how your company works, where experts in other disciplines teach their basic practices and procedures. Very few employees can describe the flow of work through each of their organization’s departments but knowing this puts them in a better position to contribute. Giving an employee the chance to shadow others helps them see how that department works. They gain invaluable knowledge.

By design, employees who show significant levels of development are candidates for moving up. When the time is right provide them the chance to prove themselves in a new role. This may be a vacancy from a retirement, or more significantly, a position created for them where no one has had the chance to lead before. Giving someone a groundbreaking chance to make a difference is the ultimate motivator.

A final area of development is to provide the employee opportunities to offer their input and receive your feedback. Discuss their progress, ideas, and lessons learned. Let them know how they’re doing and offer continued insight, support, and direction. This is the foundation for effectively developing your people.

As always, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.

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