Training & Organizational Development
The Role of the Manager in Employee Development
Providing information and support to facilitate your employees’ development is one of the most important management roles to fulfill.
Developing employees and maximizing their skills and talent is a process. It involves:
- Coaching employees to help them determine what they need for development.
- Providing both positive and corrective feedback.
- Offering organizational insight, information, and advice.
- Guiding the employees’ development planning through goal setting and following up over time.
- Allotting time and resources for development experiences.
- Ensuring opportunities for applying new learning.
Assessing Your Development Style
The Manager Self-Assessment tool can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses in developing your employees.
Identifying and Discussing Employee Development Needs
Beginning the Discussion
Successful employee development depends upon conversations held in an atmosphere of trust and collaboration. To create such an environment:
- Find a private, comfortable spot for the discussions.
- Allow plenty of time – a rushed meeting will not help build rapport.
- Listen carefully as you establish a two-way conversation.
- Ensure that any goals set are clear and attainable.
- Outline the next steps and responsibilities for each step.
Your role as a manager is to provide information and support the employee during this development process.
Employee Experiences and Actions
- Temporary assignments
- Cross-training, rotation
- Conducting meetings, conferences
- Preparing and making presentations
- Participating on a large-scale committee
- Job shadowing
- Coaching a less-experienced co-worker
Individual Development Plan (IDP)
When discussing employee development needs, it is helpful to collaborate to create an Individual Development Plan (IDP). This tool translates goals into concrete action steps and helps the employee to stay on track to achieve the stated goals.
The IDP should include:
Reasonable, Achievable Goals
The employee should identify one to three areas, based on priorities, and commit to one to three goals for a specific time frame. An IDP typically includes one or more of three types of goals:
- Enhancing a skill area where there are current strengths
- Developing a new skill area
- Acquiring new skills
When goals are met successfully, they often are "SMART" goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reasonable, and Time-based.
Identify whether the goals are short-term, critical to the current position, or longer-term: growth and future oriented.
The IDP should be action oriented, outlining the steps needed to accomplish the short- and long-term goals. Identify as many action steps as needed to reach the goals. Begin by brainstorming many possible activities, then sort through and determine which make the most sense. Be concrete.
Determine which learning formats would be most effective for the employee and his or her learning style, from formal classes to self-directed activities to on-the-job experiences, among others.
Sample Individual Development Plan