Identifying Which Employees Are Worth Developing

by Tim Sackett | Posted | Learning

Identifying Which Employees Are Worth Developing

There are a ton of benefits to investing in employee training and learning and development initiatives. It can help ensure that your employees have the skills needed to do their jobs today, the capacity to support future business growth and help keep them on board for the long haul.

But here's the thing: not all of our employees are equal when it comes to development.

In our latest episode of TalentTalks, I talk about why you might want to press pause on putting all of your employees in an L&D program.

Now I know some of you might disagree with this, but let's face it: not every employee is a high-potential employee. Some are just plodding and comfortable doing the same work, day in and day out.

If you have some employees that fall into column B, be honest with yourself: are they truly worth the L&D investment? Or are there high-potential people on your team with who could benefit more?

Because here's another hard truth: We have a limited capacity to develop each employee.

Still, just because the answer to that question may be 'no', doesn't mean that you're giving up on that employee. You still have options. For instance, you could encourage them to do some self-development. Or you could check in with them next month or next quarter to see if they've made any progress.

Not supporting all of your employees with learning and development doesn't make you a bad leader. It just means that you're getting better at prioritizing your efforts by focusing on helping those who could benefit the most.

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Video transcript: Which employees are worth developing

Hi everybody, I'm Tim Sackett, HR expert, and today I want to talk about a concept around leadership and development that some of us might agree with, or disagree with. I'm going to challenge you a little bit, and the big thing here is that we've been brainwashed into believing that every single one of our employees is equal. Now wait a minute, think about that for a minute. As leaders, we're told, "Hey, you to develop your entire team, you have to develop every single person," and what I'm telling you is that you don't!

You don't actually have to develop everybody on your team. In fact, you probably have to ask yourself before you go into a meeting with each employee, "Do I think this employee needs to be developed? Is this employee worth my time and resources and effort to be developed?" You probably have some high potentials that are desperate for this and they want to be developed and you're like "Oh yeah!" and it's like a no-brainer position. And then you have some other employees who are just kind of plodding along and, you know, you have to really ask yourself "Do I have the time right now with my limited capacity and resources and effort to put time and effort into that?"

Turns out, not all of our employees are equal when it comes to development. There's going to be times when you're going to spend a lot of time and resources on one or two or three high potential people that you really want to develop for the next level of your organization. And there's gonna be some other times when you spend literally no resources or effort, or you might really push them to do some self-development and see if they're willing to kind of put some energy into themselves before you go and put that same energy and effort of your resources into that person. So, it's a concept where we're really forcing you to kind of take a look at each one of your employees and say, not "Do I think they should be working for us? Should they be fired? Should I keep them?" but when it comes to development we have a limited capacity to develop each employee that we have and take them to that next level, and we really need to ask ourselves "Does this employee deserve my time, effort and resources to help develop them, help take them to the next level?"

And if it's yes, great! Go for it 100%! Take them. If it's no, then it doesn't mean you're giving up on that employee it just means that, hey, they might be next round, right? They may be next quarter, next year, whatever that might be in terms of prioritization. And so it's important that you really ask yourself that. It doesn't make you a bad leader, it actually makes you really good at prioritizing and giving the full amount of effort and energy you need to develop somebody to the best person that they can be.

So, I hope you enjoyed this episode, there's a bunch that we've done check them out below, there's links and check out some of the other concepts that we've talked about in terms of development and leadership of your employees and your team. And then leave comments if you want to look forward to answering some of those, and let me know if you think that every employer is equal when it comes to development in the comments below. Look forward to talking to you next time!

Cracking the Code to High Potential Employees

Learn how to attract and retain your best talent with Dr. Henryk Krajewski.


Watch Now
Cover of the book
Cover of the book

Cracking the Code to High Potential Employees

Learn how to attract and retain your best talent with Dr. Henryk Krajewski.


Watch Now


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