Employee training and development should be on the minds of every manager. Let’s face it, every employee wants to succeed and they look to their managers for the resources to guide their performance improvement and help them excel within the organization. The company’s ability to develop employees is a necessity for employee satisfaction and employee retention; not to mention company success. Programs which develop skills are also a component in fostering an exceptional workplace.
Training and development programs provide skill building opportunities that are especially vital to developing good managerial skills. Development and skill building programs go beyond mentoring; they help employees obtain actual leadership experience that can be directly applied. The first step is to address employee’s developmental needs to support the organization and individual employee’s abilities. Next, develop and implement a skill building strategy which will support employees through a combination of assessment, on-the-job experiences, coaching, training, and education.
The following components are examples of what could be included in a skill building program that would help build leadership experience and cultivate managerial skills:
- “Stretch” job assignments – Try increasing the scope of responsibility, span of control, or cross-functional assignments, etc.
- Coaching – Provide individual coaching and/or peer and small group coaching to guide employees in decision making.
- Strategic action teams – Assign employees to teams working on complex company issues.
- Training – Educate employees on competencies that will help build communication skills, decisiveness and other leadership characteristics.
- Self-directed development –Encourage employees to read research and participate in online education to help them stay up to date on best practices.
- External involvement – Encourage participation in leadership roles in civic and community activities, trade associations, and non-profit board of directors.
As with any program you should continually measure individual progress. This can be done with 360 degree reviews of the process, employee satisfaction surveys, and/or general observation of the results of key employees who have completed the developmental program.