If you want your employees to assume greater responsibilities, you will need to provide a culture where both continual learning and employee development are a top priority.
The benefit of investing in and creating future growth plans for every employee will provide the organization with staggering long-term results such as:
- Competitive market growth
- Increasing employee and organizational performance
- Building internal capabilities required to win when business circumstances change
- Shortening the time necessary for employees to transition into new roles and responsibilities
- Building a strong succession plan by building strong leaders
- Creating strategic alignment between all strategies, employees, and internal processes
- Driving innovation
- Creating loyal employees, which in turn helps drive a loyal customer base
The last point listed is particularly important. An employee’s loyalty to the organization is only enhanced by working with each employee to create and customize a personal development plan. Tim Shoonover, Chairman of OI Partners, said in a recent article, “To sustain growth in your company, there must be a path to leadership. If an employee doesn’t have a leadership development plan in place and isn’t able to see her career progression, she is less likely to be engaged or to expend discretionary effort.”
What is creating an employee development process worth to your company? Here are some thought provoking questions that may be useful as you analyze your company’s current employee development strategy.
- If you needed to fill a key leadership position in your company tomorrow, is there someone ready and able to fill the position? How do you know? Based on what process or evidence do you know he/she has the right skills, knowledge, and attitudes to fill that role and excel?
- What does your organization’s published employee development plan look like today?
- How frequently do you and/or your team review each employee’s development plan, and how is action organized as a result of those plan reviews?
If any of your answers to the questions listed above cause you concern or you just do not know the answer, then perhaps it is time to make employee development a priority. The growth and success of your organization depends on it! Engaged employees are your organization’s most valuable asset. Invest wisely!