Thursday, May 9, 2013

Do You Really Want to Develop Your People? Prove It!


This article in Training Magazine is an excellent and practical example of what a manager can do to develop people on his/her team. The purpose is to train your team for life's challenges by learning a new skill oneself and then sharing that new thing with your team. If you do this, you will learn a new skill and you will help inspire individuals on your team to perhaps learn the new skill as well. 

I like this. 
Which direction will you take? It is entirely up to you.

It demonstrates to your people that you care about them…enough to share what you have learned. 

A big win for any manager.

The only thing missing is that the manager could become a bottleneck. I would much prefer to transfer the ownership of learning new skills to the individuals on the team and encouraging them to do something similar. 

Of course, by doing this oneself and sharing it, a manager certainly could inspire people to take this on themselves.

When I managed a really good, high performing team (you guys know who you are, if you are reading this), I took this approach one step further. I told everyone on my team that they could not earn the high rating on their performance review unless they did something to develop themselves beyond what was offered in our company. They needed to attend a conference, speak at a conference, attend a course, earn a credential of some kind. 

Of course, to back this up, they each had a budget sufficient enough to one or more of the things above. I removed a excuses except for ambition are drive…..which was on them. 

At first there was resistance. Over time, I believe most people understood why I took this approach. I believe they came to realize I was doing this not to put a road block to earning a top rating, but to do more than just encourage personal development. 

I gave them a clear expectation and provided the means for them to accomplish it. But in the end, it was still up to them to execute on it. Many did. And for those who did not, that was OK with me. This was an option, a choice for them to make. I respected both choices.

That was a great team.

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