Watching your employees grow and develop is a great feeling, we’d even say it’s on par with (or perhaps tops) developing a new skill yourself. It’ll motivate too – once your employees feel themselves improving and start climbing that career ladder, they’ll only be looking up. Here are several proven ways to encourage personal growth.
Encourage some hour trading – or some mentoring. Weekly knowledge swap sessions are a great way for peers to share insights and skills, especially with newer colleagues. Instil confidence in your employees to take the initiative of setting these up – if they have a skill worth sharing, or need a skill developing, it’s likely one of their colleagues can help. Arrange a structured mentoring scheme to make sure employees have access to more senior members of staff to develop skills too. Pair mentors and mentees, set up monthly time slots, agree a number of long-term goals, and create a company-wide structure for your managers to measure employee progress.
This one comes from the Forbes Coaches Council, an expert team of career growth experts. By offering work hours as ’growth time’ in which employees focus on new learning objectives or career goals, you help advance their growth and show your business values their development. Just remember that goals must be a stretch, ‘build out your team’s road-map’ or ‘lead the next company meeting’ are good starter targets for those who haven’t done them before. Or, make this time a little more flexible. Google’s famous ‘20% time’ policy lets employees take one day a week to work on creative side projects – and out of it came Gmail, AdSense and Google Talk.
Share, share, share
Let your team know how much you value growth by sharing stories about your own development and encourage the rest of your leadership team to follow suit too. This could be through blogs, team meetings, or face-to-face learning sessions. Some companies use the ’river of life’ tactic – staff draw out their career paths and talk through all of the turning points that got them to where they are today. Inspire your team, then help them stay ahead of the curve with the latest industry developments through conferences and courses. You’ll find they’ll be keen to keep up.
Hackaway at hackdays
Your employees need to innovate, think big and play with new ideas in order to grow. Pull everyone out of work for a day or even half a day, mix your departments up, and get the teams to solve a series of problems. These can be projects of your teams choosing, or real company objectives that need solving. Your teams will see how other brains in the business work, have a bit of fun, and they might come a way with a whole host of new solutions too.
Also in this series: