Adding Structure to People Development

2 December 2020
4 minute
Adding Structure to People Development

If businesses have been rightly focusing on strategies to survive the global pandemic, there is one key area that for many has been lost, people development. For every great business, this one area alone is attributable to global success stories.

Of course now, with many returning to the office and many others still working remotely, employee development remains a priority and businesses need to start re-engaging in this area to see the positive impact such developments can bring. 

We’re going to take a look at why people development is important and how implementing a framework can yield results. 

Why is people development important? 

Employees are a business' most important asset and investing in talent is vital to the success and development of the organisation. Being able to keep your key employees focused and up-skilled will lead to benefits in the short and long term; failure to engage your best and brightest employees can, however, lead to disengagement and ultimately a good worker leaving the role. 

Providing ongoing support through an onboarding framework will achieve much of the successful opportunities that businesses seek to achieve. 

According to a Gallup study, workgroups that engaged in employee development saw:

  • Increase in productivity 
  • Increase in staff retention (which also lowers the cost of hiring new staff on a regular basis)
  • Greater engagement in the business and objectives
  • Increase in sales and profits for the business - double compared to workgroups who didn’t engage in staff development. 

How to develop your employees

There are many schools of thought on how to best develop your employees. What is certain is that developing a structured framework is only the start. You need to successfully onboard your employees from the beginning to foster engagement and buy-in from your team.

We are going to look at feedback methods in the workplace and how to create individual development plans to develop your employees.

Create feedback mechanisms 

Feedback should be constructive and include specific recommendations to help develop skills and overall improvement in the employee. What they must not be is a personal attack, mean or criticising the employee. 

In order to create strong feedback mechanisms, managers and supervisors must be open about the process from the beginning and normalise feedback to employees. If everyone understands that feedback is a tool to help, then the process of feedback itself is going to be more effective and ultimately successful. 

One of the best ways to create this positive appreciation for the mechanism is by holding regular 121s and engaging in more formal appraisals. 

121s can be both formal and informal. Informal ones can happen at the water cooler or on a quick zoom call and are there to engage the employee and understand if they are requiring additional support or to address any issues which may stop them from completing a task or their role. 

Formal 121s and appraisals are regularly scheduled appointments and follow a development plan and framework. These will address wider topics whilst also providing an opportunity to feed back any comments to the employee - and give the employee an opportunity to feedback as well. 

Create individual development plans 

Being able to construct feedback into an action plan is the starting point. Once you have established buy-in to formal development you need to establish how an employee's role will allow the necessary changes and company development to happen.

One of the most important frameworks you can use is a Professional Development Plan (PDP). By creating individual development plans, or PDPs, you are structuring what development can look like and set goals to help your employee achieve them. 

Of course, not everyone has the same goals or interests, but by formalising what these are for and discussing what development can look like, you'll have on paper a plan to help your employee achieve their goals and organisational objectives as well. 

When it comes to people development, it’s important to have a strategy and framework that helps your organisation achieve the best outcome for all parties. An increase in employee engagement, productivity and results are just some of the benefits. 

Even with employees working remotely, it’s important to regularly check in and perform formal and informal 121s to help develop your workers and your business. Sticking to a framework and using the right tools will help broaden your employee development and get you through these challenging times. 

Develop your people and create better feedback with Thomas

At Thomas, we can help you develop and retain your best people with our employee development platform which helps you identify and nurture future leaders, improve employee engagement and keep people development at the heart of your business success.

Also, be sure to check our 360 Degree Feedback assessment that easily enables people to gather performance feedback from their managers, colleagues, team members and customers and then compare this feedback with their own perception of their performance.

To find out more about how Thomas can help you create better feedback mechanisms and individual development plans, please speak to one of our team.

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