In a tight job market, getting the most out of in-house talent is key. Talent managers and Learning & Development professionals have their work cut out for them. Employees on all levels must upskill a reskill quickly and with a swift impact on the bottom line.
Never has HR been asked to guide so many people through a development cycle. This blog is about what makes people take positive action towards development.
people need to understand their ‘as is’ situation. What is the effect of their current attitudes and behaviours? They need a ‘mirror’ so to speak. Preferably one that is quite clear in its reflection of the current reality. It’s the organization’s responsibility to provide such a mirror.
only when people get to reflect on what they see in the mirror they can decide what parts of that reflection are a) relevant to them and b) a priority. If what they see in the mirror is considered neither, development will NOT take place. Looking into the mirror is the responsibility of the individual contributor.
in terms of development actions, what is the offering they can choose from? In other words, with regards to the things they’ve seen in the mirror, is there a one-to-one mapping on development actions they can choose from? Preferably, this ‘menu’ is not too long, nor too short and it offers different ways of learning to suit different learning styles. It’s the organization’s responsibility to make an offering.
In the last phase, the choice towards a specific development action is made. If all the others steps were done right, the specific choice for a development action will be a good one, i.e. one that will produce impact. Making that choice is up to the individual contributor.
In conclusion, the development of individual contributors can only happen if you guide people through a four-phase development cycle. It all starts with in-depth feedback and every new phase builds on the previous one.
Brandon Hall Group. The State of Learning: 2023 And Beyond. Survey report (2022).
Westfall, C. Nearly half of workers unsatisfied with earning and development programs, Forbes (2019).
Westfall, B. To close skill gaps, nearly 50% of companies are spending more on upskilling employees in 2022. Capterra survey (2022).