Developing Employees

February 26, 2011

Greater skill depth and breadth can generate real productivity gains

Development Planning

As companies look to change the size of their workforce, these fundamental questions should be asked:  What’s in my organizational tool box of knowledge? How do you know what skills are required to recruit?  Who will no longer be retained if a reduction in force is just around the corner?

After working with many companies in a variety of industries a common theme that Trindent often uncovers… that no concrete plan is in place.

Establishing a strong development planning process is beneficial in many ways, here are a few:

  • Communicating  to employees the skill requirements for the position
  • Generating  an operational frame work for management to mentor and coach
  • Establishing expectations and results with employees
  • Stressing continuous learning and proficiency

Now that the benefits have been recognized; how do you implement a dynamic development plan that inspires the employees and inventories the knowledge of the organization?  Development plans may be used on the shop floor, within product development organizations, or within sales organizations. Simply put, any organization can use a development plan process.

Key Deliverables and Associated Technical Needs:

Determine your current and future departmental, program, and technical depth requirements.  How do these needs relate to the organizations competency areas?

  • List the top 3-5 responsibilities / outcomes that an employee will be accountable for delivering over the next 12 months.
  • Score each competency area (0-5, with 5 being essential) as it relates to achieving that objective.

Current Proficiency Levels:

Reflect on the employee’s history, including education and prior work experience.  How do the employee’s technical skills and abilities meet the organizations technical needs?

  • Based on the technical needs that the employee identified in the previous exercise, list 5 critical competencies that are required to achieve the objectives (Departmental, Program, and/or PD).
  • Determine the current proficiency level (Novice, User, Expert, or No Previous Experience) and provide rationale.
  • Using Departmental Inventory ‘Target Levels’ and other assessments, list the needed proficiency levels.

Developmental Actions:

Identify both short-and long-term actions that will close the gap and increase the employee’s technical depth.

What resources (time, coaching, agreements, and job responsibilities) are needed to ensure developmental actions occur?

  • Using the previous exercise, list each critical competency area where the employee has a proficiency level gap.
  • For each competency, identify short-term actions (12 months) that the employee can take to begin closing the gap.
  • In addition, identify long-term actions (1-3 years) that can be taken to continue to build the employee’s proficiency.
  • Determine what resources are needed for the employee’s short-and long-term actions to be realized.

Developed Knowledge:

After collecting and assessing the skills of the employees’, a finer level of detail is attained and fosters better decision making from management. Let’s face it, better decisions by management accelerates the meeting and exceeding of company goals.  This increased awareness and communication within the organization will aid in increasing moral, quality of service, and deliverables being executed on time and to task.