The Impact of Employee Growth and Development
Many leaders and managers think of employee growth and development as being about improving job skills. And, yes that is true, but it is not the important part. When employees are growing so is your company. When employees are not growing, well, you can guess what will happen to your company.
You see, when you foster employee growth and development, you are tapping the problem-solving capacity of all your employees. All too often an organization is powered by a few key “leaders” who establish the solutions to all problems. Workers then carry out the solution of leadership. Such a process uses only a fraction of the brain power available in the organization for goal attainment.
Most organizations are chocked full of competent individuals who learn their own small piece of the puzzle. This piece they can improve better than anyone else.
And, it is more than just brain power. People work better when they participate in problem-solving. They like figuring things out and feeling like they can master their world. To do someone else’s solution may be required work, but it is not fully theirs. People are more likely to become invested in their own answers and give it their all.
When people do get a chance to contribute by participating in problem-solving they also tend to identify more personally with and “own” the company. The company becomes theirs because it is their solutions being implemented. It is a source of pride, accomplishment, and self-esteem.
People with pride in their organization don’t need management; they want to achieve the goals of the company. They become race horses toward the finish line rather than donkeys hauling a load. They are more autonomous in their efforts, self correcting with mistakes, and engaged by their jobs.
Finally, workers who have the opportunity for growth and development are self replacing. They grow, learn new skills, and can take the place of those who leave. With employee growth and development there is increased flexibility and sustainability.
The job as a manager and leader is to create the environment that fosters the growth of employees. The reward is rich for everyone- leaders, employees, and the company.
Tom DeMaio, PhD