Employee Development Approaches
There are several approaches to employee development that can be used to help manage and improve employee performance. The best programs incorporate several methods, choosing options appropriate for the composition of your workforce, the objectives you need to accomplish, and to allow for individual differences in learning styles.
Engaging in career planning activities is an important part of a company's employee development efforts. Having open discussions with your employees about their long term goals is an excellent way to identify the types of employee development activities that are most appropriate to help employees fulfill their potential and grow with the organization.
Encouraging cross training is a great way to provide employees with an opportunity to develop new skills that can benefit them and the organization.
Sponsoring on-site training or sending employees to attend off-site seminars related to performance goals and objectives can be a great way to develop workers' skills.
Encouraging managers to providing employees with regular feedback is an important part of any comprehensive employee development system. Rather than waiting to let employees know how they are doing during annual review meetings, managers should make a point of regularly acknowledging good work and providing corrective feedback for areas where improvement may be needed.
360 Degree Feedback
Rather than providing performance feedback only from an employee's direct supervisor, many companies are incorporating 360 degree feedback systems into their employee development plans. This involves getting feedback from the employee's manager, peers, internal customers, and others in the organization that interact with him or her on a regular basis.
Coaching and Mentoring
Providing coaching and mentoring opportunities in the workplace can be an excellent employee development activity, particularly when grooming star performers to step up to leadership roles in the organization.
Company Training Needs Analysis
Choosing the best approaches to employee development should be partially based a training needs analysis for the company. Look at the skills that exist in the current workforce and compare that to the skill needed to perform the company's work today and into the future. The gap represents employee development needs for the organization.
Individual Employee Development
It's also important to identify training needs for individual employees. Identify the gap between what employees are able to do today and what skills they need to meet the needs of the organization and to accomplish their own career goals, to the extent they are aligned with the company's strategic plans. This information can form the basis of an individual employee development plan.