BY Judah Hirsch Motivation
One of my favorite martial artists, Bruce Lee, once remarked,” Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.” I believe that this duty of a quality human being to develop a person’s potential must not stop with himself or herself. Development of a person’s potential must trickle down from the owners and management teams to their employees. It can be thus said that one of the important duties of a manager, a leader, or the owner of a business is the continuing development of the people under him or her to ensure a productive and evolving workforce that could meet ever-changing job requirements. There is indeed a clear strategic value in improving, training, and developing employees to enhance an organization’s capability to meet its targets while earning the employees’ gratitude and support by enabling them to grow in their careers. In fact, the Society for Human Resources Management made a study by identifying the 18 conditions that must be present in the workplace according to employees. When such employees were then asked to rate their overall satisfaction with each of the 18 factors, four of the lowest rated conditions were related to training, professional development, and career development. It was therefore evident that the growth and development needs of the employees were not a priority in many workplaces. Yet, the same study showed that the said employees identified career growth and development as one of their top five factors that they hope to derive from work. At this point, it is apparent that management and employees are not seeing eye to eye regarding such topics. So, as managers and owners of companies, how should we go about this?
Let me start with the recruitment process. Seeing that employees highly value career growth and development, the first thing to do when talking, interviewing, or offering an applicant a job is to not guarantee or promise trainings and special seminars for career advancement. Make the applicant understand that the company will do the best it can to develop the careers of each employee but subject to the company growth, economic circumstances, priorities, or goals. Promising something that you cannot deliver will definitely lower the morale of the employees and will undermine your credibility. Also, do not overcommit your company’s resources. Keep in mind that you only have a limited amount of resources and time to help your employees individually. Lastly, in recruiting employees and in screening applicants, recruiters must make the applicants completely buy the company’s philosophy and culture. From the onset, employees must be made to feel that they are choosing the perfect company and that they can be a part of an organization that is aligned with their values and career goals.
For the company in general, management should determine the training needs for employees by forecasting the direction of the company in the next 2-5 years. That way, the skills required from employees will be determined while the skills currently being possessed by the employees may be identified. By identifying the present skills of the workforce, the skills that will be needed can be honed and encouraged in anticipation of the company direction. Second, talk to the employees. Ask the employee to think in advance about his or her options for growth and development as well as their career path in the company. By determining the dreams and goals of the employees, development steps can be planned and executed. Third, consider the employee career development and growth opportunities that may be implemented such as continuing education courses, career counseling services, in-house skills training or through training centers, and coaching, mentoring, and leadership development programs. Fourth, explore alternative ways to develop career growth through job rotations if possible and other activities like exposure to the other offices, departments, or company branches. Lastly, once trainings have been completed, it is critical that there must be an extensive assessments on the activities, the participants, and the effects such activities can have in the growth of the employees and company. As an added activity, the employees can be made to summarize and write down the activities’ impact in their lives and outlook in life. Not only can you have a record of what transpired in the activities, such assessments can be guidelines for future plans and activities.