One of the strongest value propositions a leader can give to an employee is the ability for that person to grow in all dimensions of their life. Professional and Personal development are the two most obvious dimensions, but what about Financial growth, Mental growth, or even Spiritual growth? Many leaders stop at the first two, and as a result, miss out on so much potential development in those they lead.

In nature, plants either grow or decompose, they do not stay the same. An organization is no different. Employees grow when they go through some form of training or learning. The question I ask today is, “What is being done within your organization to foster learning, growth, and new perspectives each week?

A lot? A little? Maybe nothing at all, but don’t worry. This week I detail four tips on how you can properly develop your employees.

Before we proceed it’s important to know that even though you can put every tool, webinar, and resource in front of your employees, it does not mean that every single employee is going to be open to learning. Every organization has self-absorbed individuals who think they know everything and that just comes with the territory of running a department or business.

These tips are best suited for those who are open to learning, growth and being challenged. Don’t worry about trying to convince people who aren’t ready to “buy in” but instead focus on your open-minded and eager employees for the purpose of this article.

Now let’s get started!

Tip 1: If It’s Not Broken, You Can Still Fix It

Humans are creatures of habit. If they find a process that works for them, they like to stick to it. As helpful as this trait is, it can sometimes limit us to our current capabilities. It can even prevent us from living in an even BETTER world! Just because it’s not broken, DOESN’T mean you can’t make it more efficient.

Several things have been created, not because we didn’t already have something that was “good enough” but because it improved on an already great process. Keyless entry for vehicles, wireless mouses for computers, and the evolution of the telephone are just a few examples of this. Did their previous versions work? Sure. But are their newest iterations even better and more efficient? YES!

Evaluate all of your processes, fix what’s broken, and then see if what’s already working can go from the flip phone to the iPhone!

Tip 2: Crowd Source
Now that you know that you can change things around the office, it’s time to figure out what the soldiers on the front lines think. Poll your staff to see which areas of your organization need the most work and where they’d like to grow themselves. When you get your people involved like this, an “energy” starts to flow through your company.

The best part about polling your employees is that they can also be involved in helping solve the biggest problems you are facing today. This helps take some of the burdens off of you, builds camaraderie around the office, and makes employees feel like they are making a direct impact on their environment (which people love)!

If your problems are significant enough, don’t be afraid to bring in an expert either. If your pipes are leaking, don’t be afraid to call a plumber if you don’t know how to fix them. It’s better for your pride to be hurt because you couldn’t fix the issue than for your organization to suffer. Long-term business success and a little damaged pride are worth it, trust me!

Tip 3: Achievement vs. Potential
When it comes to employee growth the best thing you can do is create a one-year learning plan for everyone at your organization. Managers and direct supervisors should be tasked with this after getting some initial direction from the higher-ups.

This learning plan should cover all dimensions of a worker’s life and have elements that can be measured quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily. Find a way to conceptualize where someone is today (their achievement) and where they could be (their potential).

Tip 4: Be Patient

Change takes time, but the best news is that it starts today and even better news it’s in the little things. Even 30 minutes/week that is dedicated to learning and development pays dividends three months, six months, and even a year down the road.  You might not see the results right away but daily/weekly practice and growth in any of the areas that you want to see improvement in will eventually bear fruit.

For example, Michelangelo’s statue of David was created not by addition but by revelation. Michaelangelo saw David in the stone and merely chipped away at the unneeded pieces until David emerged into what it is today. People are the same way. Underneath all the things we currently know and do, lays an undiscovered statue in each of us. Like Michelangelo chipping away at the stone, employees and leaders alike devoting time each week to ongoing development will slowly uncover the amazing statue underneath.

With these four tips, you will be well on your way to crafting the best development program for your organization and properly developing your employees in no time!

About Us

With over 90 years of Logistics experience, Top Talent is a recognized leader in Talent Acquisition for Logistics, Transportation, and Supply Chain., Let us put our team to work for you. To learn more about successful strategies for getting those impact players and game-changers on your team, reach out to us today.

– Michael Monson
President and CEO
Top Talent LLC