Do the people on your team know they have a future with your organization, or are they wondering where this all leads?
For years I wondered if I had a future in the organization where I worked. My boss rarely spoke about career paths or promotional opportunities. Then I moved to another division and reported to a different senior leader. The difference was like night and day. From my first days reporting to this leader, she took an interest in my personal growth and career aspirations. As a result of her attention to these important things in my life, my motivation and engagement in my work also increased.
Growth Doesn’t Happen by Accident
If you want to raise the engagement level of the people on your team, one way you can do that is to be intentional about letting them know how they are doing and what the future looks like for them. Every leader should do some things to ensure their teams are fully engaged.
1. HAVE A PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR YOURSELF.
It is difficult for many leaders to encourage personal development for their teammates when they are not undertaking personal development themselves.
2. MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS.
Use your corporate IDP (individual development plan) process to measure and track progress for yourself and others on your team. If you do not have an IDP process, develop your own. Here’s how:
- Have each person on your team decide on 1-3 things they would like to improve in their performance or areas they would like to grow.
- Have each person on your team describe where they see themselves in the next year, three years, and five years.
- Schedule time with each person on your team to discuss their growth areas and career ideas.
- Help each person determine things they can do to facilitate their growth areas (read books, go to a class, join an interest group, etc.).
- Put plans in place to help each person grow into career plans they may have established.
- Follow up quarterly to check progress and fine-tune the plan moving forward.
3. TALK ABOUT GROWTH WITH YOUR TEAM.
Make growth and career discussions a regular part of your one-on-one conversations with the people on your team. Quarterly or semi-annually seems to be a good cadence.
The people on your team should be clear about where they stand regarding their performance and future. When either of these two are in doubt, people will not bring their whole selves to the work effort. When they know you care about their future, they are more likely to keep that future with you.
About Perry Holley
Perry Holley is a coach and facilitator with Maxwell Leadership, as well as a published author. As co-host of the Maxwell Leadership Executive Leadership Podcast, he has a passion for developing others and seeing people grow into the leaders they were intended to become.
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