One of your major opportunities as a manager is to develop the people in your team.
People need to feel like the job develops them.
People need to feel like they are mastering something and adding value, but they also need to feel like they are growing and developing, and that you care about that growth.
Here are some ideas:
- Make the job interesting and challenging and keep asking people for more.
- Delegate more work. My view is that my directs should be able to do most of my job. This is how more work gets done but it also covers off succession planning and career growth.
- Help people learn new things by putting in place coaching plans, learning libraries and online courses, recommended reading and “Communities of Interest” around relevant topics.
- Create small groups of co-learners who meet and learn together.
- Put in place “On The Job Training”. Training shouldn’t be something people do in their spare time. It’s part of the work. If you don’t train people, they won’t develop – that means you’re not getting the best out of them and they are not developing at work. Effective employees will leave.
In a nutshell each and every year your directs should be getting better. Better skilled, better communicators, better listeners, better at dealing with the highs and lows of work, better suited for promotion, better health. Better. We can always be better.
I’ve always had a belief that when people leave my management – they will be the best candidate on the job market. The feedback loop is huge on this (hopefully) but it’s the ultimate feedback loop.
- Did they grow under your management?
- Did they flourish?
- Did they notice their strengths?
- Did they get to put their strengths in to practice?
- Did the job develop them?
And if the answer is yes to these questions, then you’ve had a great employee and they have had a great manager – and the wider business world benefits too.