At this point in time there is no structured program in tact that provides the employees this type of opportunity and that is why it is of utmost importance to align a program that suits the needs of your current and future employees. An Employee Development Program (EDP), also considered a mentoring program, can help to establish the needs of each employee that takes part in the program and can also help re-align their thinking to be more optimistic and career goal oriented by setting a path for growth plans.
In the past, employees are hired and trained to only do one thing, which is the job that they were hired to do. Now, employees are striving to move forward in their careers, yet are left like a fish out of water because there isn’t a structured avenue as to “how” they can advance. With this being said, many employees may feel neglected and/or unappreciated and in-turn may seek employment elsewhere. The rational of this idea is that if you make your employees happy and they feel appreciated, then the quantity and quality of work will be increased and you will have more of a loyal and seasoned employee. Implementation
In training and developing employees, it is important that managers and supervi¬sors know how; • to assess employee training needs
• to set performance goals and
• to plan developmental strategies accordingly.
These three steps make development an individualized, systematic process. The process of assessing the employee’s needs and goals should involve a discussion or series of discussions between the supervisors and subordinate. Before beginning these discussions, several issues should be considered: What is required of the employee? What the employee will be required to do as a result of the de¬velopmental process, if anything, should be clear in the supervisor’s mind before this process is begun. There is little question who is responsible for assess¬ing training needs and planning strategies to meet these needs. Most organizations hold the supervisor responsible for seeing that subordinates are trained to do their jobs. However, assessing career goals and the education and skill development needed to achieve these goals is another matter. Who is responsible for employees’ career development is very often not clear. In helping employees assess career goals and education and development needs, the supervisor has to decide how far his or her responsibility in career counseling extends and how far he or she is willing to go to provide help. Within the Employee Development Program that I am recommending, the employee will have final responsibility for managing and developing his or her own career; however, the supervisor will help in many ways and be somewhat of a facilitator of decisions. A potential problem that could possibly arise within the employee development program is that of raising hopes about promotions. Many organizations and many supervisors avoid career discussions for this reason alone. They fear career development discussions will raise unrealis¬tic expectations about promotion. Although not all employees are interested in promotions, this is indeed a possibility. However, it can be dealt with by explaining very clearly to the subordinate what can and cannot be expected as outcomes of the program. Time Line
How far we as supervisors look ahead in the de¬velopmental process depends on several factors: organizational needs, the subordinate’s current level of performance, and the supervisor’s and subordinate’s desires. The subordinate’s current level of perfor¬mance and knowledge is another factor to consider. If the subordinate lacks the skills and knowledge to perform up to par in his or her current posi¬tion, the emphasis should probably be on training needs. Education and development needs may be discussed, but it may make little sense to start preparing the employee for future positions before he or she has mastered the current job, therefore it should be taken one step at a time. If the employee’s current job performance is adequate, it may be wise to look ahead to education and further development needs, especially if the employee has been in the current job for a long time or lacks a feeling of challenge. This is not to say that training should be disregarded. There may be certain skills that the employee does adequately but would like to perfect. In addition, the discussion of education needs does not have to focus on promotions or transfers. The person’s current job may change. Or, if the employee is feeling unchallenged and a promotion or transfer is not possible perhaps the job should change. The supervisor and employee may want to explore the possibility of adding new responsibilities or trading responsibilities with another staff member.
Initiating the developmental process
The supervisor may not know how he or she stands with a subordinate or whether the subordinate is interested in career development. The best way to determine both is by discussing the developmental process with the employees and having an application process.
The Individual Development Plan
The process of needs and goals assessment can be facilitated through the use of the an Individual Devel¬opment Plan (IDP form in Appendix) In the first meeting, which will initiate the de¬velopmental process, the supervisor should explain how they will use the IDP form. After the initial meeting, each should work individually on the ap¬propriate parts of the form. Once each has completed the sections in question, they should meet together again for discussion–comparing thoughts on training needs, voicing areas of disagreement and finally reaching consensus. In discussing career goals, as was mentioned previously, the manager should be a helper rather than a decision maker. This is also true in discussing education and developmental needs if the discus¬sion is limited to the skills and knowledge needed to meet career goals. One exception is if the supervisor knows that the employee is about to be moved into another position or is going to be given additional responsibilities and for this reason needs to acquire new knowledge or skills. In this case, the supervi¬sor would be justified in taking a directive role in identifying education needs.
Planning developmental strategies
Once training, education, and developmental needs have been determined, plans should be made to meet those needs. The IDP form can again be used to facilitate the discussion. In selecting needs to focus on, the supervisor–sub¬ordinate team should consider the priority of each need, and then take a realistic look at how much can actually be accomplished. Before deciding how much to take on, the two should consider each need in the context of budgets, workloads, and other contingencies. At this point, the subordinate should take the lead in deciding what and how much to try. Decisions initiated by the subordinate bolster his or her commitment. Next, the goal should be put in writing. The goal should be specific and include all criteria in order to be completed. When objectives have been agreed upon and written down, it is time to explore developmental activities. In choosing the right activity or combination of activities, the primary consideration should be: Which will be most effective in helping meet the objectives set? The amount of time required and probable costs are other important considerations. Finally, a date or dates should be set to review the results of the developmental process and to reas¬sess needs and goals and plan new developmental strategies. About three to six months is about the right amount of time for one cycle. At intermittent dates, the supervisor and subordinate should prob¬ably check on progress toward meeting objectives and deal with any problems or questions that may arise. Needs and goals can change even within a three– or six-month cycle, so the supervisor and subordinate should be open to the possibility of a comprehensive review and revision of plans if needed. The EDP can have a set time frame or can remain open-ended until the employee has reached his or her set goals. Conclusion
I feel that if this Employee Development Program is implemented that there will be less employee turnover and more employee satisfaction. This program will allow you to promote from within rather than having an open hiring session. There are far more advantages than are disadvantages to implementing this program.
Within the corporate world, there are industries and companies that already have this type of program in place and have had extremely high success rates when evaluated. In order for this company to stay up to date with the evolving work-force, this program should become a priority.
If agreed upon, I can have a drafted proposal and various curriculum outlines to you within a given amount of time once a needs assessment has been completed.
Let’s put the program on the front burner and get it started and I can guarantee that you will remain a top competitor with other companies in this area.
Individual Development Plan (IDP)
1.0 Training Needs Assessment (skills & knowledge requirements for improving or maintaining satisfactory performance) Degree of ProficiencyNeed Priority
2.0 Career Goals
2.1 Short Term (within 2 years)
2.2 Long Term (beyond 2 years)
3.0 Educational & Development Needs (to achieve goals in Section 2) 3.1Target date
4.0 Development Objectives (specific performance indicators to show needs have been met) 4.1Target date
5.0 Development Activities (ways to prepare for development objectives) 5.1Target date
Next review (date)SignatureSupervisor