3 Critical Factors to Develop and Engage Employees

How many of your employees are truly engaged? Perhaps we should stop asking this question, and start asking what we’re doing to develop and advance employees. I wrote about three critical employee engagement factors Julie Gebauer identified in a Global Workforce Study conducted a few years ago. Employees must have:

  1. Opportunities to learn, grow and advance
  2. A company commitment to making a difference in the world
  3. Behaviors and values of company leaders that show they can be trusted

Developing and engaging an employee is more than training; effective development is a process that touches every aspect of an employee’s experience, including technical, managerial and interactive skills.

Career planning is an often-overlooked process that identifies an employee’s ambitions, skills and opportunities to grow, as seen from a long-term perspective. Companies should always be mindful of how each employee can maximize their potential and provide the most value.

Career plans are highly individualized, focused on the goals the employee and leader agree are worth attaining. Development steps are documented and tracked to make the process effective. You must guide, encourage and assist the employee along the way to make their experience fulfilling and provide the best outcomes.

Any worthwhile plan has measurable means of tracking progress and accomplishment. Criteria for development success are not difficult to create but are necessary to assess the status of the employee’s journey. A milestone may be to complete a series of formal training or finish a project using newly attained skills.

Another process-related aspect of employee development may actually be the minimization of some processes. In other words, reduce the red tape and technicalities workers often face in the completion of assignments. A mindful leader will mend political fences or streamline an official approval procedure to help an employee accomplish their work.

When this topic comes up with my coaching clients, we discuss the importance of identifying, reducing or redirecting mundane tasks or routine busywork whenever possible. Put as much authority into the employee’s hands as you can and their growth will accelerate. You’re interested in developing new skills and expertise, and people need the time to do that.

What do you think? What are you doing to develop, advance and engage your employees? I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 704-827-4474; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.

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