Guiding Principles of People Development (E)
What is the role of the leader in development of his people? What are basic principles of people development?
Posted: Jan 2011
The primary responsibility of all leaders is to make their people successful. The Manager plays the biggest role in developing people. Developing of people is a serious job. The people development directly influences the future employee turnover. The importance of the people development comes from the fact that result of the manager comes from the results of his people. The managers do their job mostly by the hands of their people. An achievement of the employee is the credit to the manager, but every underperformance of the employee is the underperformance of the manager too.
Development of people means improvement of performance in current position but also preparation of the employee for the anticipated role. Not all employees can be promoted. But for those that show potential, the development plan should precede the promotion.
There are four common main factors that determine the performance of the employee. They are arranged in order from easiest-to-fix to hardest-to-fix:
Knowledge is missing (the employee doesn’t know something),
Skills have not been developed (the employee can’t do something),
Attitude is inappropriate (the employee doesn’t agree with something)
Personal traits interfere (the employee can’t be something).
Most development happens on the job. The solving of business problems satisfies most of development business needs. Accountability also drives development, much more than programs or training plans.
Development works best when it starts with the positives. Focus ( say 80% ) should be based on building upon strengths while the rest ( 20% ) on addressing areas for improvement. It is easier to utilize somebody’s potential in the area of the strength. Of course, opportunity areas ( gaps ) should not be forgotten, but it is not realistic to expect the same level of performance in all areas for the same employee. This is often related to personal traits and preferences. Sometimes it is better to address the matter of strengths and “gaps” through assignment of employee to the position that is the most suitable to his/her competences ( proactive reassignment ).
The state of readiness of the Person for development (e.g. awareness, acceptance, understanding the impact, etc.) needs to be taken into account when development actions are built. When a Performance Gap remains even after development, the person should be reassigned to another position if available (consequence management – reactive reassignment).
The capacity for development of employee depends of the potential of the person. Potential is defined as the work that someone can do in the future. The potential can be assessed as:
Potential = Performance + Learning + Attitude
Every individual has some potential. The potential is depending of all three components: Performance, Learning and Attitude.
Performance should be measured through consistency of performance. The trend should show continuous improvement. Other questions determine person’s performance. How did the person deal with obstacles? How does the person make decisions?
Learning should be checked through learning ability and application of knowledge. What has been learned in the job? How does the person keep updated? How did the person tackle new obstacles, what has been learned from that?
Attitude should check the willingness to cope with changes and job challenges, as well as applying of new things.