What Managers Need to Know Before Developing Employees (Video)

by Tim Sackett | Posted | Performance Management

What Managers Need to Know Before Developing Employees (Video)

As leaders, we're told over and over again about the importance of employee development. It can help your employees' reach their full potential, while also keeping them more engaged and motivated in their roles.

However, too often, managers dive into employee development based on what they think their employees want, and not on what they're actually looking for.

TalentTalks is back and in this brand new episode, I go over how to approach the employee development process from a place of mutual understanding.

Before you start creating career development plans and looking up training programs, I want you to ask your employee the following questions:

  1. Do you want to be developed?
  2. Do you want to be developed by me?
  3. Why do you want to be developed?

Let's dig deeper into each of these questions.

1. Do you want to be developed?

This might come as a shock, but not every employee wants to be developed. Many people have no desire to move into management or learn skills outside of their role, no matter how good they are in their current position. There's also a chance that they feel like they aren't ready to move into a higher role.

This is why it's important to get on the same page from the very beginning so you can provide them with the right learning and training to help them achieve the professional goals they've set for themselves.

2. Do you want to be developed by me?

If you're their direct report, you might assume that you would be the perfect person to help them level-up in their career, but that's not always the case. If your employee doesn't want to work with you, don't take this as a knock on your leadership abilities.

Maybe they've worked with you for years and they want a different perspective. Or maybe they want to develop a skill that isn't exactly your forte. Whatever the reason may be, take this as an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of your employee's motivations so you can provide the best learning experience for them.

3. Why do you want to be developed?

This is the big one. While you might assume they want to move up in the company someday, they could actually be looking to make a lateral move or even leave the organization entirely. It's also possible that they might be looking for development in an area you didn't expect. By understanding their 'why', you can work together to figure out what role your business can play in their plans as well as what opportunities you can offer them.

While you might think you know what your employee wants from their career, you will never know for sure until you ask. These three questions will help you create a development plan that makes sense for your employee and for your company as a whole.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm HR expert Tim Sackett, and today I want to talk to you on this episode about the one thing every manager needs to know before they start developing an employee. You know as leaders we get drilled into us this this concept of "oh we have to develop we have to develop we have to develop," and it's super important that we do that. It might be the most important thing we do as leaders. But there's one question, right, that we have to ask, and we have to ask that of the actual employee first. And that question is, for an employee, "do they actually want to be developed? By me? And if so, why?" Now, the one thing you would do after that question is shut up, right?

Like Kris Dunn and I, KD I call him, we constantly are telling you to shut up as leaders. Why? Because turns out listening is a pretty important, kind of, concept to have if you want to be a great leader, and in this concept it's really important because we need to find out, does that employee that, you know, that we feel wants to be developed, and we feel we have to develop everybody, do they really want to be developed? And then also, do they want to be developed by us?

You might have an employee that needs development, that wants development, but you're not the right person. So you got to really kind of clarify: you want to be developed, you want to be developed by me, and then why. And the "why" becomes really important because if you actually just take 20 seconds and don't say a thing and make them talk, all of the sudden you'll start to see all these really great kinds of information come out that you might not know.

Their "why" might be different than what you thought that "why" might be, and so that's really important for us to find out in here, because it's gonna really impact how we might develop that individual. That "why" might come out and say "Oh, well I want to be developed because I want to move into this position that's completely off the career path that you have them on or where you see them. Or that "why" might be, they want to take your job or they want to leave a company to do something completely different. Like, there's all kinds of, there's a million reasons of "why," but it's important that we understand that.

And then, if they say "yeah I want to be developed, but I really want to be developed by somebody else," that also is an important great conversation to have as a leader. It's not a it's not a knock on you as a leader that somebody would want to be developed by somebody else. They or you might have worked with this person, you guys might have worked together for years and years and years and they feel like "hey, I just need to hear a different voice; I need to hear different things coming from there." Or, you know maybe what they want to be developed in isn't your specialty and they know somebody else in the organization that is.

So, it's critical, right, that we sit down we take time, we ask this before we get involved. You never should assume that somebody just wants a development and also that they want it from us. So ask that question before you go down that path. It will save you and that employee probably a lot of stress in working, in resources that you'll spend doing that. So, I hope you enjoyed this TalentTalk, make sure you check out the others - you can see links below - and we'll see you soon!

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Employee Development Templates

Help your people take the next step using these guidelines.


Download Now
Cover of the book
Cover of the book

Employee Development Templates

Help your people take the next step using these guidelines.


Download Now


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