Let the employee know his/her development is important to you
- Remind the employee that knowledge, tools, technology and processes are continually evolving.
- Discuss where increased knowledge, skills, or capabilities could help your employee stay current with or meet the anticipated needs of partners.
- Assure the employee you will help him/her obtain the time and training needed to build knowledge, skills and confidence and will provide appropriate oversight while she/he gets up to speed or embarks on a challenging learning curve.
Involve the employee in assessing his/her current level of performance
- Ask him/her to describe the scope of the work to assess whether s/he fully understands what’s expected.
- Ask him/her to state how s/he would plan or carry out the work to assess knowledge and capabilities.
- Give the employee something new to do then assess what s/he can and can’t do.
- Ask the employee how comfortable or safe s/he feels doing the assigned task(s).
- Ask the employee where s/he has questions or concerns about doing the work.
- Ask the employee where s/he sees a need for growth and improvement.
- Ask the employee what s/he wants to learn or be able to do given time and training; what training, or other support will help build knowledge, skills and confidence on the job.
- If the employee works on a partner project, solicit input from the partner lead or supervisor on areas for development that would be useful for the project. Share the feedback with the employee.
Identify opportunities for on-the-job development
- Give the employee activities or assignments where s/he can test skills.
- Offer suggestions on how the work could be performed more efficiently.
- Look for opportunities for cross-training to leverage existing resources when training for a specialized task is needed or a limited number of employees are trained in the work.
- Hold periodic group meetings to share knowledge, challenges, and resolutions.
- Identify opportunities for development in current programs and projects that are outside the normal duties.
- Identify work that you or others could delegate to the employee that would be a developmental assignment.
- Ask your partner where your employee might gain some
- Ask the employee to suggest to you ways to gain some .
Provide your employee with direction and support as needed
- Decide what level of support, check-in, or guidance is needed (by you or your partners) to ensure progress.
- Let the employee know early on that checking his/her work and giving feedback is part of the process.
- Provide the employee with a peer, buddy or a lead who has the experience to guide his/her work and give useful feedback.
- Ask the employee to check in with you as needed until she/he is working effectively and you and your employee are confident s/he has the knowledge, skills and abilities to do the job.
- Give the employee timely feedback: what she/he did well, where they need to improve, how to improve.
Be willing to take a risk so employees can successfully grow in the job
- Keep your sights on what additional knowledge, skills and abilities your employees may need in the future.
- Identify employees you think have the potential, desire and dedication to master challenging assignments.
- Give employees challenges and developmental assignments to build their knowledge, skills and confidence.
- Welcome new approaches.
- Understand that your employees’ success may come through trial and error.
- Let employees know where there is room for mistakes as part of the learning process and where there isn’t.
- Assure employees you will support them during their learning curve, and then be available and accessible to provide direction and support as needed.
- Gradually increase responsibilities and challenges as employees demonstrate skill and confidence.
- Give employees feedback to reinforce learning and build confidence.
- Recognize progress and accomplishments.