Developing PeopleTraining and development is often cut when costs are tight. Developing people needs to be seen as an investment, not a cost. This means that there must be some strategic criteria for deciding which employees to develop and what skills to focus on. 

Too often training is used as a reward rather than as a strategic investment. The reality is that training serves multiple purposes: it can be an employee retention tool, a reward, a  pacifier as well as a strategic choice.

Who Should You Develop?

  • Everyone who asks for it or strategically?
  • What are your main criteria - immediate performance improvement, to meet key strategic goals - these should be the main ones.
  • Also, development can be used as a reward for excellent performance.
  • Or as a retention tool.
  • A career or succession planning aide.

How to Develop People

  • Put people into a range of stretching projects, ones outside their comfort zone.
  • A good developmental process should include some form of log book for them to record what went well and what they want to improve for every aspect of a project.
  • You, or a mentor, should review their progress regularly.
  • Regular reviews help to consolidate learning and plan next steps.
  • Feedback from others on key developmental areas is also critical.
  • Anonymous feedback through questionnaires might be more honest.
  • A training course is only a one-off event; developement is an ongoing process.
  • Developing personal skills amounts to changing bad habits - not as easy as learning technical skills.
  • Bad habits will re-surface unless a concerted effort is made over a sufficient time period for new habits to become ingrained.