Why so many companies spoil employee development

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Employers who wish to invest in the development of their employees through a talent mobility program should know the strengths and weaknesses of each employee. Sadly, as Lee Hecht Harrison’s 2015 Talent Mobility Research Report reveals, only 42% of companies understand the unique skills and experience of their employees.


When they know what employees are doing well, they can better tailor their training. Strengths-based employee development comes from the idea that some people are better at certain things than others and that truly focusing on each employee’s unique strengths can create a strong, well-rounded team. Organizations find this style of development very effective.

Gallup created the Strengths Orientation Index in February 2014 and found that 37% of 1,003 employees surveyed believed their employer was focused on their strengths, leading 61% of employees to feel engaged. their work.

Additionally, according to a July 2016 survey by Gallup, force-based businesses saw better sales, profits, and customer engagement. In short, better employee development has resulted in improved business performance.

Here’s how employers can identify each employee’s strengths and how this should inform their professional development:

Provide continuous feedback

Rethink how performance reviews work. TINYpulse’s The Worst Flaws of Performance Reviews of March 2016 found that 31% of 100 managers surveyed said the main reason they don’t like performance reviews is because they take too long, with 26 % of 100 employees surveyed sharing this sentiment.

So if both parties don’t like the current way of doing things, it’s time to adopt a better strategy. Annual performance reviews are on the way out. If companies offered feedback more systematically, performance reviews wouldn’t take that long. You wouldn’t expect managers to dig in the past 12 months to assess every person.

Instead, schedule frequent meetings with employees to have constructive discussions about their performance and what they should focus on. Don’t let the problems pile up. Deal with them as they arise and focus on finding solutions. These solutions will involve how employees can better use their strengths on a daily basis.

Encourage self-assessments

Also encourage each employee to rate themselves. Employees will review their performance over a specified period of time, requiring them to investigate the many aspects of how they manage their tasks and responsibilities.

Learn about the process they use for goal setting. How do they set goals and achieve them? Do they meet the expectations defined in the job description? What does their progress look like?

Employees should feel comfortable discussing their difficulties openly, but they should primarily focus on their strongest skills. That way, they can collaborate with their immediate superiors and management to find the best way to lean on them.

Learn to listen

Good leaders know how to listen, but strong listening skills are rare. Concentrate some managerial training on active listening, essential for communication.

Active listening is a technique that forces the listener to fully focus on the shared content and develop a solid understanding of it. This helps the auditor to better understand the employee’s point of view and provide effective input.

Managing training on this skill is fairly straightforward. The basic tips to emphasize may sound like common sense, but it should translate into a practice that they use on a daily basis.

They should pay attention, recognize the message, and look directly at the speaker. Body language such as nodding, smiling, and maintaining an upright posture shows that they are listening and are engaged in the discussion.

Once the employee has expressed their point of view, managers should proceed with paraphrasing to reflect their points and seek clarification if necessary. Finally, they can respond with honesty and respect.

Prepare them for success

Align the strengths of the employees with the corresponding tasks. While it’s good to push them out of their comfort zone, employees tend to like to be successful at their jobs. This helps them build on their current strengths.

For example, if he’s a great presenter, give him important projects that need a presentation. They can also thrive on a business call thanks to their strong communication skills. Start including them in higher level tasks and watch how they apply their skills.

Personalize professional development

Use their strengths to inform their professional development and training. Are they good at managing their time? Can they balance their stress levels to stay engaged in their work and maintain a high level of performance? Does he make his decisions with confidence? They can be a future leader.

Respond to their action plan to build these skills to prepare them for future leadership roles. Employers can track and manage each of their top players through a documented talent mobility program.

When you invest in ‘A’ players through employee development, and when they come home every day feeling positive emotions about how they have exercised their strongest skills, they are happier, better. healthier and more engaged. Starting with their strengths leads to higher retention rates, a more productive workforce, and a strong talent pool that makes succession planning a snap.