Why it’s important to encourage development in your team

Team members are the life force of your team - without them, you’d be a pretty lonely manager! As a manager, you want to ensure the best for your team by encouraging them to develop, not only for the benefit of their current roles but for future career aspirations as well.

So, what are some key benefits?

It helps performance - Having team members who are skilled and are confident in their roles helps them to work better, benefiting them, your team, and your business overall.

It helps keep them loyal to the business - Team members who are offered opportunities to grow are more likely to stay loyal to a business, reducing your turnover. Giving people the chance to develop their skills can help them fulfill career progression, showing them that it is possible to grow within the business.

It helps them broaden their skills - Encouraging development opportunities is something which every industry can benefit from to help employees broaden their skills. Team members might want to add other strings to their bows, and being a supportive manager can help them achieve their goals.

It encourages a culture of learning - By encouraging your team members to undertake new development opportunities, you can help create a learning culture that drives motivation to learn new skills. Creating a culture of learning will help keep employees hungry and strengthen the overall skills base of your business.

How to encourage development in your team

Here are four ways that you as a manager can use Impraise to help support the development of your team members.

Recognize accomplishments with praise

The power of positive feedback is sometimes overlooked despite the huge effect it can have on your team members. Employee recognition through praise is a powerful tool in making your people feel valued and appreciated. When people feel their work is valued, they will be motivated to keep up their work, and then to improve it! They will feel excited about the prospect of learning more because you’ve recognized what they’ve already accomplished.

Send praise to your team members on a regular basis to recognize them for a job well done, a new skill mastered, a well-run meeting or an obstacle overcome.

Offer regular developmental feedback or feedback on a skill

Giving developmental feedback feels the most difficult because you want to encourage your employees without making them feel discouraged. In truth, they crave more constructive feedback and it will motivate them to improve. A common mistake managers make is to focus on giving developmental feedback to those who need the most improvement, however, it is equally important to give your top performers feedback as well. Though it might feel easier to wait until the next performance review or 1:1 meeting to give developmental feedback, it will be most effective if it is given in a timely manner.

Send tips to your team members when they need correction or guidance on how to improve in a certain area. Give targeted, role-specific feedback on a skill through your competency library. Remember you can use the COIN framework to help formulate your feedback.

Prioritize development goals

You might be surprised to hear that performance-related goals are often more closely tied to things that people are already good at. On the other hand, by setting development goals, your team members can take on a new challenge, experiment, and grow. It is your role to help find the right balance between performance and development goals and to guide them in creating challenging yet achievable goals.

Have your team members create at least one personal development goal using the SMART Goal framework. Team members should input their goals in Impraise to discuss in your regular 1:1s.

Have regular check-ins

You may have a standard agenda for your regular 1:1 meetings with your team members, but how often do you take the time to discuss their development? Is it something that you leave to discuss after their annual review or do you check-in on a regular basis? Make sure to take the time at least once a month - checking progress on their development goals, asking them if there are other areas of development they are interested in, and discussing potential areas for growth in the future.

Add “Personal Development” as a recurring topic to your 1:1 agenda to check on progress and to help to remove any blockers.

Try out one (or all four) of these ideas with your team to help them get to the next level! 📈

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