Developing your employees

Developing your employees is part of your role as a leader. You play a critical part in the development of your employees.

Secretly or overtly your staff really want to be able to share their interests, skills and abilities, ideas, and plans.

It is important to properly communicate with your employees throughout the year. Continuous feedback is critical in managing expectations. You should be providing goals and assessing their progress routinely.

The quarterly and yearly reviews shouldn't surprise the employee or yourself if you have been providing feedback in a routine manner.

YOU are helping develop the employee. It is important to understand that you are helping the employee to grow and develop your staff. You help provide direction in alignment with your company's goals and values and allow them to succeed.

This journey is requires give and take but allows you both grow as well.

A leader and their staff form a partnership of sorts. You are both trying to do the best for the company and for yourselves. With those aligned goals, there is immense opportunity for growth if you work together.

This requires honest and candid feedback on their performance. You need to identify both personal and organization barriers that are preventing increased performance and help remove them.

Conduct a gap analysis

Where are they now and where do they want to be

  • Evaluate their potential as well as their performance
  • What skills do they bring and how much are they willing to use them
  • Ask them to tell you where they feel there is the biggest gap.


  • What skills do they need in order to achieve the goals set for them
  • Are they meeting their goals regularly?
  • What skills do they still need to develop for the current role?
  • What skills do they already possess?

Prioritize the gaps you have identified

  • What gaps are the greatest?
  • What gaps need to be closed first?

Talk about the career aspirations

Your conversations should focus on a few key points

  • Leverage their key strengths for a future role
    • "Are you aware of any skills or abilities that are not being fully utilized?"
    • "How best can we put your skills to use?"
    • "Is there a new role or project that your skills or abilities would be best suited for?"
    • "What do you feel your skills or abilities are?"
    • "I want to point out the skills or abilities I have seen from your and how they benefit the company."
  • Additional development to help them achieve their future goals
    • "What training or education would help you do your job better?"
    • "Is there anyone you would like me have help you reach your goals? Someone in a role your interested having some day?"
    • "What is it you are looking to accomplish in the next month, six months, year and five years? Basically, where do you want to be in the future."
    • Consider other options for helping your employees. Exploratory assignments, lateral moves that may be of interest to them or areas where they could have a higher level of growth. Vertical career paths aren't the only thing that may interest them.

Career Development Plan

Help coach the employees creating of their development plan

  • A development plan must be manageable and specific. The manager needs to ensure the plan is feasible and employee provides enough detail.

Approve their plan and find funding for it if necessary

  • If approved, it is your responsibility to provide the necessary mean and tools for carrying out their plan.

Create opportunities for development

  • Consistently provide your employees with work that challenges them. Push them outside of their comfort zone to engage in new opportunities. Don't push too hard though and watch for signs of burn out.

Follow up to ensure success

  • Accountability for the completion of their development plan is just as important as the employees normal job functions. Ensure you hold them accountable.