- 90% of Millennials were found to value “career growth and development opportunities” within their role according to a 2016 Gallup poll
- However, less than 40% of those surveyed felt they had “learned something new on the job in the past 30 days”
- Managers were found to account for “at least 70% of the variance in engagement scores”
Bosses matter. In fact, bosses matter so much that a good one can make the difference between a skilled, knowledgeable workforce that progresses up through the ranks and one that is aimless and disengaged. As a clinical leader, it is your responsibility to support your teams career development. Of course, Human Resources can assist with creating career progression programs. However, it is every clinical leader’s responsibility to provide a customized approach to career development for the teams they support. Simply put, “If you want to build an exceptional, high-performing team, you’ll make the time. You are responsible for giving your people what they need to excel and helping them to fulfill or even surpass their potential. If you take this obligation seriously, they will be far more motivated to put out their best effort. With their hard work and your teaching, they’ll become more skilled, perform better, stick around longer, and help attract more talent. And, even if they move on, they’ll remain grateful to you for helping them achieve their career ambitions”1. Beyond tracking growth on a quarterly basis, leaders are encouraged to follow employee development on a weekly or monthly basis to better understand the nuances of how people are growing. In doing so, this creates the opportunity for leaders to adjust their approach accordingly. Below are five key steps to better customize professional development within your teams:
1. Use spreadsheets to track employee development. By organizing information about employee development, clinical leaders are better equipped to monitor their progress on a regular basis. According to Sydney Finkelstein, Professor of Management at Tuck School of Business, leaders can use spreadsheets to track the following information about their employees:
- Your own observations of the person, and your assessment of his or her potential
- Feedback he or she has given you about your management style
- The employee’s preferred ways of working
- Key motivators for the person, including extrinsic rewards like financial compensation and intrinsic rewards like recognition
- Opportunities you see to further his or her career, including networking connections you can make, stretch assignments, and promotion targets
- The employee’s stated career and developmental goals
- Feedback you want to give the person
- Broader wisdom about the industry or life you wish to impart1
2. Set aside 15 minutes a week to track progress. While the time demands placed on clinical leaders may prevent you from having weekly sit-downs with every employee, leaders stand to benefit by allocating 15 minutes at the end of each week to update progress grids. Update spreadsheets with any coaching or support you’ve provided to employees on your team. It can be helpful to use a notebook to keep track of occurrences throughout the week which you can consult to update information at the end of the week.
3. Do regular check-ins to identify any trends in employee development. Leaders can benefit from doing regular deep dives every three months to identify any patterns in employee growth. Which coaching approaches worked well? Which didn’t? Is the employee making good progress or are they stagnant? Are there any factors that might be contributing to them struggling?
4. Give continuous feedback. Rather than waiting for quarterly check-ins, leaders can better engage employees by addressing development opportunities in the moment. Doing this demonstrates that you are invested in your team’s success and have a clear understanding of what success means to them as well as how you can help support them to get there.
5. Reference your records to assist with performance evaluations. When it comes to performance evaluations, it can be difficult to remember the specifics of employee progression for every team member at the end of the year. By tracking employees progress, clinical leaders are better equipped to provide detailed and accurate feedback for the employees at the end of the year.
In case you missed it:
- Top 4 Reasons Nurses Leave
- The Business Case For Compassionate Leadership
- 3 Ways To Retain Nursing Talent
1Finkelstein, S. (March 5th, 2019) Why a One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Employee Development Doesn’t Work