“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers”
Ralph Nader, American politician
Today’s rapidly evolving business landscape means that managers not only need to actively manage their careers, but they need to provide career guidance for their employees.
Here are some ways on how good leaders help employees develop their careers:
1. Create growth opportunities
Give your team new and professionally challenging work experiences to get them out of their comfort zones. Different assignments allow your employees to grow rather than remain stagnant. Stretch assignments are tasks that employees perform within their role, but beyond their job description. When aligned with organisational goals, it is a good method for developing employees. Stretch assignments can be deployed for employees who have reached a certain level of proficiency in their current roles but are not ready to move on to the next level. Employees who take on stretch assignments develop their potential while contributing value to a project or filling a head-count position. Companies benefit from lower costs of employee development.
2. Offer financial support
Skills trainings or taking up additional courses in a tertiary institution can be costly. Offer to subsidise their course fees or sponsor them for the entire study period. Managers should review their budget and resources at the beginning of the year and the training budget should be part of the business plan. There are also certain schemes in place offered by the government or training organisations that can help offset some training expenses for your company. Consider the benefits of different training options rather than just choosing the least expensive option.
3. Update your team
Keep your employees up to date on the organisation’s goals and future plans so that they will know where the company is headed. This will allow them to better develop a personal career development scheme that is in line with the progress of the company. When there are any changes in the organisational goals or strategy, be sure to bring it up during departmental meetings and convey them to your team. This allows employees to reflect on their individual learning plans and make changes accordingly to fit in with the organisation’s goals.
4. Allow time off
Sometimes, seminars and skills trainings are conducted during work hours. Ensure that your employees have reasonable workloads so that they can have time off to go for training opportunities. Adjust work schedules if possible to give your employees time outside of work responsibilities to develop new skills and gain new knowledge which may contribute to their growth on the job.
5. Link them up
Help employee connect to other professionals in similar fields or networks. Introduce them to other senior personnel who can serve as mentors or coaches, inviting them to industry associations or groups and networking events. The process of meeting people both inside and outside your organisation is imperative to career advancement. Plus, you will never know what your employees will learn by initiating contact with a variety of professionals.
We hope that this article is helpful. Do you have any tips you would like to add?
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