Why you are developing your staff incorrectly

Many of us are on the tail ends of wrapping up our budgets for the year and setting goals for our teams. With those goals many of us put development as a “measurable” metric and as bosses have to plan how we are going to develop our staff.

Development should be self sustained and management should assist when requested or during your weekly/bi-weekly/monthly one on ones with your staff. Many times I have heard of members of management telling their staff where their next steps for their career are or suggest areas for them to move to and it isn’t in the best interest of that person.

Just yesterday I was talking to a network connection of mine and in our discussion it was brought up that their boss had the conversation with them regarding their development for the year and where they thought it would track. Now to give you a little history of this person, they have been in their current role for double digit years, so very comfortable and happy but still producing. Their boss referred them to a position that not only was polar opposite of what they normal or have ever done but also a multi-level drop in role.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am in full support of people LEARNING new areas or new tasks BUT I do not think that means you have to step down to learn that information or take your career another direction. WE own our own careers and our own development so stop telling your staff where they should go and what they should do.

When discussing development and careers with your staff always remember to…

  1. Listen to what they want
  2. Look at their career history
  3. Ask them about their skills
  4. Ask them about their desires
  5. Provide suggestions based upon their responses

We all make the mistake of sometimes thinking of our staff or colleagues as us, realistically we have very different dreams and goals so we can’t have a one stop career shop. Every career path is different and tailored and altered for each person, so when having those discussions we need to do the same. TAILOR AND ALTER.

Career Path Maps: BAD IDEA, many companies have these maps where they show all positions and link them to where the next steps are to get to an end result. Why do I feel that these are bad and a waste of time? Because you can’t tell someone that they have to follow your exact mapping steps to get to their end dream. We all take different roads and learn different information to help us fill information desires for positions so to say that we have to follow a career map is nto going to get a company the people that they really want. Following that map would end all of your staff to be exactly the same.

Career and development should be a reoccurring topic of conversation that you are having with your staff because if you don’t have this conversation your staff will feel stuck or they may end up just leaving your company. Most employees leave because they aren’t being recognized or their hopes/dreams aren’t even on the table for discussion.

Remember that you yourself are hoping to fulfill development so don’t cut your staff off at their knees just so you can climb your career ladder.

Suggestions for staff..

  1. Find a role model
  2. Learn, learn, learn
  3. Take your career in your own hands and control it
  4. Don’t depend on someone else to get you a promotion
  5. Have someone that you can talk to about your career and work open and honestly
  6. Think about where you want to go
  7. Be open to change – your career goals may change as you move around in the workforce
  8. Don’t be afraid to be different
  9. Believe in yourself

” Your mind wasn’t made to match the person next to you so why would you follow their hopes and dreams, make your own and follow your own.” – Kaylee




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