Clear the Fog of Career Growth

People-development converts payroll costs to asset-investment

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Post 1 of 3: Alvin sat down beside Frank in the break-room. “What are you working on so intently this morning, Frank?” Alvin, a tenured manager, had taken an interest in Frank’s growth as a new leader when he first saw his passion for helping people.

“I was told to have a career-development conversation with this employee. I don’t have a clue where to start, but I know she is interested in being a supervisor one day, so I’m searching for different types of leader positions that are posted.” Frank made an uncomfortable face, “Of course we don’t have any posted internally, so I feel kind of weird showing her outside opportunities.”

“What did your boss tell you is the purpose for having this conversation?”

Frank looked Alvin in the eye and quietly said, “He didn’t give a reason, and I hesitated to ask. Alvin, do you have career-development conversations with your team members?”

“Yes, I try to have them at least 3-4 times a year with each of my folks.  I have even more short, informal conversations that reference their career path.”

Frank smirked, “What’s your objective for doing them?”

“Smart question!” Alvin smiled, “I’d say there are several reasons. It lets them know I care about more than just their performance metrics, which keeps communication open between us. The discussions also tell me what’s important to them and often how satisfied they are with their current work. Giving them input on resources that support their learning goals encourages them to take initiative and follow through.
“But mostly it lets me help them craft ideas for strengthening transferable skills that can help me NOW and them in their next career steps.”

“So…”Frank thought aloud, “I probably shouldn’t start by giving her a list of open positions or research their qualifications….”

“Ha; probably not.… When do you have to lead this conversation with her?”

“I’ve got a week to prepare, and you know I’m going to ask for your help.” Frank paused for Alvin to acknowledge his willingness. “Hey, can we sit together at that off-site meeting tomorrow? If we get there for the breakfast part, I’d be able to pick your brain about this… What do you think?”

“You bet! Email me a bit about this employee’s performance and how you know she is interested in pursuing a leadership position. That will help me apply some ideas to a real example.” Alvin stood and looked at his ringing phone, waving to Frank as he walked out of the break-room.

Reality: Ensure you know how facilitating career-development conversations with employees can help your business. Ensuring you also make the conversation beneficial for the employee increases the impact to both their job satisfaction and their contribution to your business. This is not as difficult as we often make it.

FOLLOW US & don’t miss the next PEPPERBOX blog How can Frank help his employee focus her learning on critical areas that help her and the business? Does he need some HR support? Where should he start?

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