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How to Address Employee Development Throughout Your Talent Pool

How to Address Employee Development Throughout Your Talent Pipeline-1
Millennial employees almost universally agree that personal development is a critical aspect of their job. But the right development opportunities vary from employee to employee. Development plans should be individualized based on an employee's performance and growth potential. 
Top performers who've shown promise might be prime for a promotion. Other employees are great in their current role, but aren't ready for more responsibilities. And low performers need coaching to get back on track.
You need to understand where each employee stands in your current talent pool. Then, create employee development plans to maximize their performance and growth. Consider our suggestions below for each group.
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Stretch and Grow

Top performers with room to grow


Move on up: Consider individuals from this group first when a promotion arises.


Grow their skills: If a promotion isn't available, identify stretch assignments or other challenging tasks outside their current responsibilities.


Recognize and Retain

Solid performers well-suited for current position; not prime for a promotion


Shake things up: Add to their core skills by offering training in new areas that expands their current expertise.

Broaden their scope: Test leadership abilities by having them lead a new initiative, head up a special project, or act as an advocate for the team.

Have the hard conversation: Ask employees if they really want to be promoted. Promotions seem great on the surface, but they bring new responsibilities and pressures. Have employees consider the long-term ramifications of a move. Many are content with their current position, and others may realize they don’t desire or aren’t ready to move up.
Look for mentoring opportunities: Use these employees’ skills and knowledge to impact new hires. Discuss opportunities to train or mentor new employees or join the interviewing/hiring process.

Reset and Align 

Individuals that show signs of potential, but aren’t the right fit for their current position


Discuss job fit: Have an honest conversation about how they feel about their role. Do they feel the fit is right? What are their career aspirations, and how do those aspirations align with their current career path?
Identify obstacles: Uncover what’s holding the employee from reaching their potential. Is there something that could be done to remove these burdens?
Consider new opportunities: Ask what career paths in the organization intrigue them. What parts of their job excite them? Which don’t? There may be some lateral job shifts in the organization that prove to be a better long-term fit.

Coach and Guide

Employees performing below expectations; future in organization is murky

Dig into past performance: Get to the root of why the employee isn’t succeeding. Is their performance related to a work-life balance issue? Skills? Work ethic? Personal issues?
Construct an educational plan: Decide what education or skills the employee must undergo to stay with the organization. Remedial training or other skill development may be options.
Discuss an exit from the organization: Outline why this decision and was made and discuss next steps. Offer to help the employee in any way you can.

Tips for Developing Any Employee

Understand the possibilities. Enter each career development conversation with the knowledge of the opportunities you have to offer. Consider the promotions, lateral moves, and size of your development budget. This gives you something to offer when employees desire additional opportunities, but also keeps you from overpromising.
Understand where the employee’s head is at. Try to get a sense of everything that’s impacting performance. It’s possible something in their personal life is impacting their work. Talk to employees about their mood and what they're going through.
Keep an open mind. Don’t make assumptions or have a set-in-stone plan when you begin development conversations. Allow the employee to add color and insight to their performance, and be ready to adjust your opinion if need be.

Learn more about our recipe for healthy employee growth and development by downloading our Employee Development ebook


Employee Development


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