When you’re on the HR or L&D team, it sometimes feels like there are a million and one talent development routes to take. Not only are there countless employee growth categories, but each has a whole collection of sub-headings that seem to make things only more confusing. Even if you’ve got an unlimited budget (don’t you?), decisions still need to be made. So let’s take a look at some of the latest growth priorities and what it takes to make them happen.
Are Development and Growth the Same?
Not exactly. We’ve defined employee growth as “any activity that promotes the skill, experience, advancement, morale, engagement, and productivity of a worker.” Training is about growth, but so are rewards; development is a part of the picture, but not all.
The difference stems from the concept of a growth mindset. The idea, which was created by psychologist and researcher Carol Dweck, states that people’s abilities can be developed without preconceived boundaries, as opposed to being limited by intelligence. If you have the will to learn, then you can learn basically anything. So imagine an organization with an incredible range and level of skills across employee groups – sounds like an awesome competitive advantage, right?
The trick is to enable growth opportunities. HR needs to identify the right people, programs, and skills to make sure that everything is ready for ambitious employees to expand their abilities, and then reward them to continue their motivation. If you want to set up a successful program for this exact goal, then read up on building the right employee growth strategy.
Current and Critical Employee Growth Areas
In 2021, a GrowthSpace survey revealed the hottest topics. Without further ado, here are the top growth subjects to concentrate on right now:
Like growth, leadership is a mindset. Leadership is not confined to certain areas of a company. Instead, those with the will and skill to become great leaders need all the help they can get in the following areas. One method for building leadership in any organization is by using the help of leadership coaches.
Leaders have different styles, but they all need to deal effectively with people. Being a hard nose was once considered a good way to go, but time has proven the value of empathy. A leader with self-awareness notices how their actions and attitude affect those around them and is always looking for improvement.
It’s often during tough times that leaders get noticed. The soft skills that permit a leader to guide changes, and properly receive vital feedback from subordinates, are often the real reasons for change management to succeed.
Along with change management, strategic thinking allows a leader to understand and implement big-picture ideas. This usually translates to adapting the real-world effects of a strategy for daily tasks.
The difference between managers and leaders is that managers tell people what to do, whereas leaders inspire them to do it. But people management is still vital for any organization that needs things done properly and on time, often through these skills:
Even once a manager gives instructions, there’s no guarantee that everything will go as planned. It’s often the case that employees disagree on who does what or simply don’t get along. The task of a manager is to be patient and not take sides until the conflicting workers explain their points of view. The manager will hopefully come up with a mutually satisfactory solution through problem-solving.
It’s also important for managers to have a good interpersonal bond with their employees. Getting to know the strengths, weaknesses, and personalities of as many workers as possible, or even delegating this task to leaders in the group, allows a department to function as an effective unit.
There are multiple types of communication. Workers tend to be proficient in some areas but can always use improvement. Nobody is ever a perfect communicator, and communication is the ultimate growth area.
It’s also very personal in that, for example, the ability to speak to a group can go well for somebody in a particular setting, but not in others. A manager might do a great job explaining a topic to workers, but not to C-level executives. For this and more reasons, communication is often a great opportunity to bring in a specialist coach.
Where Growth and GrowthSpace Meet
Every employee in your organization is good at some things, and not so great at others. Coming up with the best L&D program for each one is definitely a challenge. That’s why GrowthSpace has designed the world’s leading platform to coordinate your L&D goals, the skill needs of employees, top training talent, and optimal learning settings. Put it all together and you’ve got a scalable system for meeting growth goals, no matter how large your company is, or how complex the L&D requirements are.