The Critical Path: Recruiting, Retaining and Developing (Part II) – by Laura Dillingham

In Part I, we looked at how finding great talent is stressful, time-consuming and extremely difficult in today’s market. Even more challenging is keeping the talent you have so they will stay and continue to be involved. Now let’s look at a couple of questions and some suggestions for developing your employees and building and developing your team.

How do you help employees grow and develop?

  1. Establish an organizational culture that encourages professional development and then create a development plan for every employee.
  2. Choose mentors in the organization and pair them with employees. Choose people who represent the organization’s values and understand its vision and mission.
  3. Delegate challenging assignments and provide training and support. Set employees up for success.
  4. Include employees in meetings, on committees, boards, projects, seminars, conferences and more. Help them build networks.
  5. Be willing to financially invest in your employees by providing opportunities for them, sending them to conferences, training or investing in a coaching opportunity.
  6. Show employees that you trust them and are invested in them by doing steps 1-5.

How do you build and develop your team in the workplace?

  1. Start with yourself; leaders never stop learning.
  2. Ask questions. Learn what your employees’ driving forces are and how you can help them meet their needs.
  3. Establish a foundation with every member based on trust and mutual respect.
  4. Turn meetings into learning opportunities.
  5. Learn how to delegate. Give employees an opportunity to work beyond their comfort zone and learn new skills.
  6. Be available… delegate assignments, answer questions, guide, mentor, teach and if not you, find someone who can.
  7. Make networking introductions.
  8. Provide continuous feedback.
  9. Help everyone to navigate organizational politics and culture.
  10. Be willing to financially invest in your team’s development.

There are simple action steps everyone in the organization can take to help in employee development. Start with a few simple ones and build from there. Everyone will benefit in the long run through employee engagement, loyalty, increased knowledge, skills and abilities and developing employees to promote within the organization.


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