A Winning Approach to Employee Development
Managers play a critical role in developing the people on their teams. Without strong leaders and a strategic management plan, people often become complacent or feel unfulfilled and “stuck” in their jobs. Harvard Business Review recently shared Sydney Finklestein’s article on the importance and challenges of this, called “Why a One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Employee Development Doesn’t Work”, in which he proposes that managers make employee development more personalised (and, consequently, more effective) by creating a detailed spreadsheet to easily track information about each of their employees. Data would include the following for each direct report:
- Observations and assessments of the employee’s potential
- Employee’s preferred work styles
- Motivators, both intrinsic and extrinsic
- Career and development goals as told by the employee
- Future feedback notes and ideas
- General industry wisdom to impart to the employee
While Finklestein most certainly gives managers of people actionable ways to improve their process, we find that just as a one-size-fits-all approach to employee development doesn’t work, neither does a one-size-fits-all solution for management to improve this process.
This article got us thinking about the state of today’s managers. Because they are so essential to employee engagement, and customised coaching and support are critical for driving employee development, are we really giving today’s managers the tools they need to customise their approach to developing their people? The research data presented in Finklestein’s article, suggests that the answer is no, not really. But rather than seeing this as a deterrent, we see it as an opportunity.
In support of Finklestein’s idea, we want to offer simple steps for today’s managers to effectively customise their coaching and support practices. But how do you tailor your people development approach to effectively coach and support each individual on your team? With Everything DiSC® Management.
Everything DiSC Management is a classroom training and personalised learning experience proven to increase the effectiveness of anyone in a management role. Participants deepen their understanding of themselves, their direct reports and their own managers, using the DiSC model, while learning how their management style influences their approach to decision-making, time management, and problem solving. Participants walk away with concrete strategies to help them adapt to the styles of their direct reports, enabling them to bring out the best in their people.
Curious about how to tailor your approach to people development using DiSC and an understanding of the different styles on your team? Here are some simple ways to get started:
For D-style employees, consider development opportunities that have the potential for impressive results, as success is typically their bottom line. Review the big picture with them and encourage them to come up with appropriate long-term goals.
When working with i-styles, allow them to lead small groups, as they thrive in a collaborative environment. Help them stay focused by pointing out the negative consequences of not taking enough time to develop skills with deliberate effort.
For developing S-style team members, be mindful to push them gently to grow and develop—slow and steady tends to win with them. Show them that they have what it takes to work autonomously, and don’t be afraid to offer constructive feedback when necessary.
With C-styles, try putting development opportunities into clear, well-organised framework. Make sure that these independent and logic-driven employees see the drawbacks of always playing it safe, and remind them to fill you in on their progress.
Through this in-depth management learning experience, managers can learn to view themselves and their coworkers with a fresh, understanding perspective. Participants deepen their understanding of themselves, their direct reports, and their own managers using the DiSC model, while learning how their management style influences their approach to decision-making, time management, and problem solving. Participants walk away with concrete strategies to help them adapt to the styles of their direct reports, enabling them to bring out the best in their people.
These solutions also provide a common language and conversation-starters for teams that may struggle with communication. This can be especially helpful for teams that experience a schism between staff and leadership. Paired with Finklestein’s approach of a highly-detailed spreadsheet, you have the tools you need to build your management skill set and unlock engagement on your team.
“When you embrace customised employee development, you become a far more effective and admired boss,” Finklestein writes. “You might even turn out to be an exceptional one.” With a clear plan for your team and Everything DiSC Management, we know you will be. See how Everything DiSC Management can empower your managers to bring out the best in each person on their team. Get started now by getting in touch.