How can I make growth happen day by day? What can I do to show up better in my “everyday” experiences? How can I engage in new and challenging learning experiences? Who can help me?
These are the types of questions employees ask themselves daily in their careers. The reality is that successful employee growth and development requires a partnership between employees and their employers. Employers are responsible for creating opportunities for advancement and systems and structures to provide feedback. At the same time, employees are accountable for seeking feedback, engaging in meaningful conversations, and creating and acting upon individual growth plans.
The challenge many employers face is striking the right balance between their many different development programs and tools to create an easy-to-navigate ecosystem for employee growth and development. Read below to learn more about the key questions to consider when evaluating the effectiveness of development planning across your organization.
Is Everyone Expected to Grow?
Is there a culture of growth or evaluation in your organization? Is development open to all your employees or just high-performing employees? Are you currently using development plans in a punitive way for underperforming employees?
Evaluating the attitudes of your culture around growth and development is a great place to start. It prepares you to consider where to invest the most time and energy and what systems and strategies you must implement to get everyone to grow. If you currently only use development plans as part of a performance improvement process, it will be essential to consider how to message any new initiatives around employee development. If you are currently limiting access to development, consider asking why this is the case and the costs of continuing to operate in this way.
Getting clear on your philosophy and targeted messaging will help to ensure the success and alignment of any future shifts in your organization’s approach to development.
Do Development Plans Focus on Meaningful Personal Growth?
Is the focus of your development plans forward-looking or about correcting past weaknesses? Does your current approach allow employees or managers to select a development focus? Do your development plans identify how employees must change to reach their goals?
Most importantly, a robust development plan must align with employees’ goals/aspirations and their individual needs. The employee should drive the creation of a meaningful vision for the future that will motivate them to persevere with change when faced with the many obstacles that get in the way of real growth.
Generally, we encourage employees to go to three places to get ideas for growth and development: (1) their goals and aspirations, (2) their individual needs and (3) feedback from others. If employees look in those places, they can get great information about what could be most vital for them to work on.
Is the Learning Easily Accessible? Are There Clear Connections Between Your Talent Programs to Support Growth?
To ensure high usability, access is essential. Does your organization have an easy-to-access program that houses learning programs, tools, training and forms? Is it linked to your organization’s internal employee homepage? Do all employees know how to locate what they need to develop quickly? Can employees and managers quickly identify the most relevant organizational opportunities to support growth?
At WinningWise, that is what we do. We have a unique and one-of-a-kind career and leadership experience called GrowWise to help individuals identify their development focus, build a meaningful plan, and get growing. This program builds growth into an employee’s everyday experiences. This personal growth lab comprises interactive exercises, engaging character-story videos, enlightening readings, personal journaling, and resources to keep learners engaged and on track with their learning. We support implementation and program success by helping organizations create clear connections within their current talent systems to ensure users and leaders can leverage the program to drive employee growth and propel organizations forward.
Are Both Managers and Employees Equipped to Engage in Meaningful Career Conversations? Is There a Shared Language Around Growth and Development?
Now that you have a straightforward form, expectations, and aligned opportunities within your organization, have you considered the learning required to facilitate high-quality conversations between employees and their managers? Have you considered the frequency of these conversations, who will lead the discussions, and what your ideal outcomes should be? Once you have identified your goals, consider how to ensure these capabilities are in place. Will you leverage classroom-based learning, provide resources, or leverage virtual learning to reach your goals?
With a program like GrowWise, you can expect individuals to be more responsible for their growth, for managers to have meaningful development and career conversations, and for the organization’s talent bench to grow, enabling MORE career paths, internal promotions and engagement.
Interested in learning more about how WinningWise can support your organization to create meaningful development plans for all your employees? Click here to schedule a time to connect!