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"Even during challenging economic times, your best and brightest have options" states the book "Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go".

It is amazing that one of the most effective tools for driving business results is often overlooked; career development. There are a million different ways a manager can help with an employee's career development; online training, coaching, a developmental assignment and in person classes to name a few. A manager needs to figure out first when someone is ready for their next role. They also have to be sure they don't move employees based on the whims of the business or executives.

As a manager, you first have to interact with your employee on a frequent basis. You may think your employee owns their own career and in some ways they do. However, as a manager, you have a responsibility to help them grow and develop. In the weekly meetings with your employee, ask them what else do they want to learn? Once you are armed with this information, you can help them move to a developmental assignment or class room learning or coaching.

When setting up developmental assignments make sure you are following some clear guidelines and have a good idea of the outcome you would like your employee to achieve.

Rotation roles: These are often short assignments either early in a career or in the middle of a career change, that give someone exposure to various parts of an organization. You can make these assignments productive if you select the right depth of responsibilities and achievements. To ensure success for the individual and the group, ensure they are surrounded with experienced professionals who enjoy coaching and mentoring.

Specific roles: These types of assignments provide an opportunity for the individual to develop deep skills or competence in an area. An individual may move through several of these roles within their career, but the key here is to keep the person in the role long enough to showcase expertise in the area they are developing.

The BIG role: This is the role the individual has been working towards. Perhaps they will move into the role because of a succession plan, applying through internal channels or as a step up by leaving your organization for another. Regardless of how they get the job, if they stay with your company, make sure they not only have the competence but also have the wisdom to do the job.

Developing your internal talent is not difficult. However, if you fail to help your employees grow they will take their talents elsewhere.


Larry Hart

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