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5 K EY S TO EM P LO Y EE

D EV ELO P M EN T

There are five areas to focus

on in employee development.
The goal is to develop their
skills, increase their
knowledge, raise confidence
and through that uncover
hidden talents.

Coaching
Coaching involves regular discussions between a

manager and the employee with the goal of


improving their performance. Coaching is often
used as a tool for dealing with poor performance.
With employee development the role changes to
raising the employees performance to a higher
level.
Discover and discuss areas the employee needs to
improve in
Get buy-in from the employee that they are
committed to improving
Develop a plan to improve the employees skills
and knowledge
Meet regularly to discuss how the development is
progressing

Counseling
Counseling is a discussion for the purpose

of helping the employee to sort out any


personal difficulties. In employee
development there may be added
pressures or stress that can arise.
If you see the employee is struggling with
a development task sit down and talk with
them. They may have fears or other
emotions that are interfering with their
development. Teach them how to deal with
these emotions so they can progress and
learn how to handle them on their own in
the future.

Mentoring
Mentoring differs from coaching in that

mentoring is about overall career growth


and guidance. You want to motivate the
employee and help them to understand
their potential and how that potential can
be achieved.
Show them why they should develop a
career plan and help them see their
future role in the organization. Your
manager or another manager can act as a
mentor, but you have a role to play since
you interact with the employee on a daily
basis.

Teaching
With employee development teaching revolves

around essential skills. These skills lay a foundation


on which the employee can build.
Focus on:
Working with Others
Computer Use
Continuous Learning
Thinking Skills:
Problem solving
Decision making
Critical thinking
Job task planning and organizing
Significant use of memory
Finding information

Training
Expanding your employees technical skills

are an essential part of employee


development. These are on-the-job skills
as well as specialized technical skills. The
focus should be on gaining expert
knowledge in their area.
This is an area where a manager can help
by advising and encouraging the
employee, but the real work should be
done by the employee. It can involve
taking classes, obtaining certifications or
gaining knowledge from experts in your
department.

10 Keys to creating goals that


drive your people to succeed.

1. Belief. The first step to goal setting

is to have absolute belief and faith in


the process. If you dont believe you
can absolutely transform your life
and get what you want, then you
might as well forget about goal
setting and do something else. If you
are in doubt, look around you.
Everything you can see began as a
thought. Make your thoughts turn
into reality.

2. Visualize what you want. Think of

what you deeply desire in your life or


where you want your company to be a
year from now. What changes have to
take place? What do you need to know
or learn? What spiritual, emotional,
personal, financial, social or physical
properties need to be addressed? The
clearer you are with each of these
dimensions will bring your vision into
sharp focus. The clearer you are, the
easier it will be to focus on making it
happen.

3. Get it down! Writing down your

goals is key to success. By writing


down your goals, you become a
creator. Failure to write down your
goals often means you will forget
them or wont focus on them. Have
them written down where you can
see them every day.

4. Purpose. Knowing why you want to

achieve your goals is powerful.


Identifying the purpose of your goal
helps you instantly recognize why you
want that particular goal and whether
its worth working toward. Knowing why
you want something furnishes powerful
motivation to see it through to the
finish. After all, if the purpose of earning
a million dollars is to put it in the bank
for a rainy day, you probably wont be
as motivated as you will if you need it to
pay for your childs cancer treatment.

5. Commit. This might sound obvious

to you but its a step that has


disastrous consequences when its
taken lightly. Write a few pages about
why and how you are committing to
each goal; why its important to you,
what it means to you, why the
outcome is necessary and what are
you going to do to make it happen.
Without strong commitment you
arent likely to follow through.

6. Stay focused. By focusing on your goals,

you manifest. You may not know how youll


reach your goals but when you make a
daily practice of focus, they become easier
to reach. Having your goals written down
somewhere where you will see them each
day is a good idea. Your mind will notice
that there is a discrepancy between where
you are now and where you want to be
which will create pressure to change. If you
lose focus you can always bring it back.
Without a regular practice of focusing on
your goals you may be distracted by
something.

7. Plan of action. Being really clear about

what you want, knowing your purpose,


writing your goals down, committing to
them, and staying focused gives you the
power of clarity to write down a list of action
steps. You may not know all the steps ahead
of time but you will know the next steps that
take you in that direction. Having goals
without a plan of action is like trying to
complete a complex project without a
project plan. There is too much going on, its
too disorganized, you miss deadlines and
you dont have priorities. Eventually you get
frustrated and the project/goal fails or
collapses under its own weight.

8. No Time Like the Present. To show

how committed you are to your goals,


think of something you can do right
now that will get you moving toward
fulfilling your goals. Even if its just
making a phone call, do it now. You
will be surprised how this simple step
reinforces all the previous steps and
gets you motivated and moving
toward what you desire. If you are not
motivated to do something right now,
how are you going to get motivated
tomorrow?

9. Accountability. To push through

when things get tough, you have to


hold yourself accountable unless you
bring in outside help like a coach
who provides it for you. It makes
sense to have someone beside
yourself who can provide valuable
feedback at critical junctures, like a
friend or a mentor. Telling your
friends and family about your goals
may give you the accountability your
need.

10. Review. Make it part of your day

to review your goals and take action.


This keeps your goals alive and top
of mind. Its a good time to convert
the over all plan into discrete action
steps that you can take through out
the week. It will also help you be
aware if one goal feels stuck and you
are over compensating on another
goal.

How to delegate effectively.

Use the following principles to delegate

successfully:
Clearly articulate the desired outcome.
Begin with the end in mind and specify the
desired results.
Clearly identify constraints and boundaries.
Where are the lines of authority,
responsibility and accountability? Should
the person:
Wait to be told what to do?
Ask what to do?
Recommend what should be done, and then act?
Act, and then report results immediately?
Initiate action, and then report periodically?

Where possible, include people in the

delegation process. Empower them


to decide what tasks are to be
delegated to them and when.
Match the amount of responsibility
with the amount of authority.
Understand that you can delegate
some responsibility, however you
can't delegate away ultimate
accountability. The buck stops with
you!

Delegate to the lowest possible

organizational level. The people who


are closest to the work are best suited
for the task, because they have the
most intimate knowledge of the detail
of everyday work. This also increases
workplace efficiency, and helps to
develop people.
Provide adequate support, and be
available to answer questions. Ensure
the project's success through ongoing
communication and monitoring as well
as provision of resources and credit.

Focus on results. Concern yourself with

what is accomplished, rather than


detailing how the work should be done:
Your way is not necessarily the only or
even the best way! Allow the person to
control his or her own methods and
processes. This facilitates success and
trust.
Avoid "upward delegation." If there is a
problem, don't allow the person to shift
responsibility for the task back to you:
ask for recommended solutions; and
don't simply provide an answer.

Build motivation and commitment.

Discuss how success will impact


financial rewards, future
opportunities, informal recognition,
and other desirable consequences.
Provide recognition where deserved.
Establish and maintain control.
Discuss timelines and deadlines.
Agree on a schedule of checkpoints at

which you'll review project progress.


Make adjustments as necessary.
Take time to review all submitted work.

4 ways to teach new skills

1. Understand the context and backstory of

what you are learning.


Before the students ever touch a line of code,
the Flatiron School starts each morning with a
programmer of the day. Learning about
databases? Interesting. Learning that the
creator of the modern database, Edgar Codd,
created it because of a bet made at a local
bar? Fascinating (and memorable).
Its much easier to remember something if
you learn it as a story as part of the context,
says Flombaum. The programmers that
came before us changed the world and
created billion dollar industries.

2. Learn in groups, and rotate them early and often.

For most of the semester, Flatirons students are


segmented in groups of four where they work on a
single project together.
Then, once a month, we switch up the teams
completely, says Enbar.
Alternating teams keeps things fresh, and also creates
well-rounded team members who learn to work with all
types of people. A strong student on one team may be
the weakest on another, while shy students may have
to learn to step up in a leadership role. This exercise
gives the group a real-world toughness that pays off in
the job market and on other projects.
If there is a strong person on the team, everyone
starts relying on them for the hard stuff and thats not
good. So, we like to kick the legs from under them."

3. Share your progress at regular

intervals.
After noticing that the students had
become a bit loose and lacking in
direction, Flombaum and Enbar
instilled daily stand-up meetings where
each team had to present its progress.
Forcing students to confront their
peers made them much more focused
and structured, as no one wants to
give a bad presentation because they
slacked off during the previous day.

4. Get used to not being the smartest guy in

the room.
Most creative industries move at a breakneck
speed, so the Flatiron school tries to have
students embrace lifelong learning along with
the occasional failure.
As a programmer, you have to get
comfortable feeling stupid as you spend a lot
of time talking about the fact thats it is okay
that you dont get it, says Enbar.
The group embraces failure so much that
Flombaum encourages students to break out
in applause when someone reveals that they
made a mistake.

5 ways to change damaging


behavior

1
Let go of the idea that you are going to be able to
change the other persons behavior. Sit and
contemplate that for a while. Get comfortable
with the possibility that the person will never,
ever change, because in all likelihood, they will
not. How would it feel to simply live with the
behavior? Is it possible you could change your
own behavior and attitude to accommodate
them? Desperately nagging someone to change
is the quickest and surest way to completely
sabotage your efforts. Once you truly accept
that they may never change, you can use this
strategy without grasping and desperation. If
you cannot accept the behavior, then prepare
yourself emotionally to abandon the relationship.

2
Make your feelings about the behavior very
clear to the person. For example, say: When
you are late, I feel like I am not a priority to
you, and that hurts my feelings. Give
specific examples. When you were late
meeting me last week, you made us both
late to the Bon Jovi concert and we missed
the first song. I was really mad about that
because I love Bon Jovi and those tickets
were expensive. Once you are sure the
person has heard you, back off and do not go
over this again. If you have already been
complaining to the person about how their
behavior makes you feel, then skip this step.

3
Ask for what you want. For example, say: I want you to
arrange your schedule so that you are sure to be on
time to meet me. If you are unavoidably delayed, I
want you to call me and let me know whats going on,
so I can decide whether to go without you. Then back
off and do not belabor this. If you have already been
telling the person, calmly and clearly, what you want,
then skip this step. They already know. If you have
been suffering in silence, or trying to drop subtle hints,
as these few steps may solve the problem entirely.
Alternately, look for a way to work around the behavior.
Would it work to simply tell the person a time to meet
you that is a half-hour earlier than necessary? Is there
something that could be purchased that would solve
the problem, for example, if your complaint is that the
person will not clean the litter box like they promised,
can you buy a self-cleaning one? If they wont dust, can
you afford maid service? If steps 1,2 and 3 haven't
solved the problem, and theres no work-around, then
proceed thusly. This is where it gets tough, and takes

4
Praise good behavior using lavish,
enthusiastic praise in whatever form
the person understands best.
Physical affection if appropriate, kind
words, gifts, doing things for the
person, etc. Connect the good
behavior to you being thrilled with
them and their life being better as a
result.

5
Ignore bad behavior. Thats right, ignore it. You
have already been very clear about how the
behavior makes you feel, and what you want the
person to do. You have accepted that they will
not change, right? Right? So its really no skin off
your nose. Do not punish, simply withhold the
praise and appreciation and go on with your life.
Decide how you will react to the behavior in a
way that keeps you from being irritated. For
example, if you make a date to meet this person
at 2:00, know ahead of time that they are going
to be late (you will be pleasantly surprised if
they arent), and decide for yourself how long
you are comfortable waiting before you leave
without them. Then do it. Good luck.