Monday, December 29, 2014

Is Developing your Employee like Growing a Tree?

It takes wise eyes to identify talent, the growth mind, and systematic approach  to developing them effectively.

Digital means flow and continuous improvement, like many business disciplines and technology trends, Talent/Performance Management is at an inflection point, the traditional performance management is out of date in many perspectives, more tailored talent management and ongoing development is strategic imperative to human capital management today. For example, How shall you identify each employee's talent, which employees are you looking to develop to fit in a leadership position? What systems are currently in place to develop employees?


Employees don't want to be evaluated only, they want to be developed. However, if the evaluation process has a future component to it, it needs to become the way to review and revisit opportunities or challenges. Also, the questions of team development need to have a more meaningful weight when evaluating management's performance. Not just hard numbers. There is the human capital aspect of a job. Let's do away with the performance appraisal and train supervisors and managers to be coaches.Where does an organization start though when management aren't armed or trained with the skills to develop their team? For some organizations, it could take years to develop the managers and shift focus.  The managers should build good relationships with their staff. Maybe, talking to your employees about what should be changed and listening to their suggestions on improving performance management systems would be a start.


Great leaders must "walk the talk" by living the company's values, and create expectations of greatness for everyone in their organization. They articulate a vision for others to understand their higher purpose of their work. At a minimum, focus groups (although time-consuming) at all levels would be a necessary first step to help the organization rebuild its performance strategy/processes. This is a goal for most organizations that face the challenge of continuing to use traditional "performance management" (annual appraisals) which is now considered outdated and ineffective vs. ongoing coaching and continuous development.


One of the important tasks of each manager is to help each employee succeed. In most cases, that should be the overriding general goal. Then you teach managers simple ways to remove barriers to performance, communicate what's needed, get information from, and give to employees that is essential for performance, and so on. With regards to systems - although implementing a system to help management development is necessary for large organizations, it definitely isn't the remedy if managers are not committed to coaching and utilizing the system to develop their people. It might take years to get the skill levels of managers up to what's needed, but that's really no different than most positions. It's actually a simple process where, starting with the C-levels, the desired skills and processes are demonstrated to the next level of executive/manager who in turn, is held accountable for learning it, and teaching it to the next level down.

Besides talent management strategy, the PROBLEM is getting movement; and changing the notion of management, particularly performance management that seems set in double concrete. Evaluation is an ongoing process, ideally, it happens daily. Just as a classroom teacher should know what s/he is trying to accomplish with each student every day, the Performance Coach should know the valuable behaviors that need improving, eliminating or maintaining and know the most effective way to do those things. Just like gardeners to grow the plants, they have to know them so well, watering and fertilizing in a different way, some blossom fast, others take the time to get matured, treat them same by treating them differently.  


It is a big shift from managing people as resources and cost to investing them as asset and capital, from static monitoring to ongoing development, besides wise eyes to identify talent, you need to have growth mind and systematic approach  to managing such transformation smoothly.


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