Managers owe it to the organization to help their employees grow professionally. It’s hard, time-consuming work. But the return on investment is terrific.

The organization benefits from higher employee performance and lower turnover. Strong employee retention obviously saves the employer a lot of time and money. 

Savvy employers also benefit because motivated employees are a source for profitable ideas. 

Managers win in other ways. 

By helping employees, supervisors enjoy great personal gratification for doing the right thing.

Plus, with a fully developed staff, managers are more-easily propelled upward. The better trained staff gets promoted and accompanies on the managers’ coattails.

The ideal situation is to employ people who are motivated in self-development. However, it’s also true that not all employees want to develop to their full potential.

It’s best to try to help them, but not force the issue.  

Ideally, such hesitant employees will envy the success of employees who participate in your development program and they’ll reconsider participating, too.

(But not to worry if they don’t. You probably risk losing such employees anyway. There are common traits among employees who are likely to quit — even those who are secretive about their plans.)

Five elements 

Basically, an employee development program includes five elements: 

1. Increase employee’s knowledge

2. Upgrade employee’s skills

3. Provide employee with necessary resources including time and tools

4. Eliminate barriers to growth

5. Manager provides feedback 

By helping employees, supervisors enjoy great personal gratification for doing the right thing.

Again, for success, employees must voluntarily commit to the development process. Employees have to do the work — some on the individuals’ time and some on the employers’ time during work hours.  

The manager’s role is that of a coach. As a coach, the manager must take the time to deliver on all commitments.  

Remember the employee will be attending training courses or workshops. Such absences are often inconvenient for the employee, manager and department. 

The work piles up but the work needs to get done. Employees need to be encouraged to keep going. The manager must be patient and proactive to solve the workload gaps, and to provide opportunities for the employee to use the new skills.  

To reiterate, manager commitments are important. Failing to adhere to commitments to the program means the manager will undermine the objectives. Worse, the employer will create and exacerbate morale issues.

In essence, for short-term and long-term employee development, the following simple illustration shows how:

Duration      Current Skills     Goals     Resources     Courses of Action     Results

1 year

2 years 

3-5 years

A supervisor who successfully empowers employees is more than a care-taking manager. Such a person shows leadership.

Furthermore, employee development is a vehicle for stronger organization performance, and completion of a self-improvement program will also prepare the employee for career opportunities. Employees will be appreciative and for managers that’s a source of pride.

From the Coach’s Corner, related tips: 

Management — 4 Mindsets for Leadership in Performance Reviews — Are you nervous at the thought of giving employee-performance reviews? You’re not alone. Your employees aren’t exactly thrilled, either. Typically, employees aren’t convinced they can get valid feedback. If they’ve experienced poor managers, they likely dread the performance-review process or are skeptical of the outcome.

HR Management – 8 Best Practices in Employee Delegation — Delegation is a fundamental driver of organizational growth. Managers who are effective in delegation show leadership. They know they’ll be more effective in management and that they’ll develop their employees.

13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism — Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem. Check your attendance records. Monday is the most-abused day of the week and January is the worst month for absenteeism.

Management Best-Practices Include Solid Operations Checklists — Are you concerned about profits? Would you like for your business to be in a class of its own? Not to oversimplify, obstacles to profits result from two basic barriers: External and/or internal challenges.

Profit Drivers – How and Why to Partner with Your Employees — If you want maximum profit, consider partnering with your employees.

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”

-Harvey S. Firestone


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.