Developing Your Staff

Taking genuine interest in developing your staff shows that you are committed to their future. Your staff will appreciate the support and in turn, you build staff loyalty, which increases engagement and productivity.

Career Development

Career development is key to creating an internal pool of qualified candidates, and means that you have staff who are prepared for advancement and ready to take on other roles within the organization. There are many methods to consider when developing your staff:

  • Job enrichment increases employee responsibility within their current position such as committee work or special assignments.
  • Cross training allows staff to learn new skills and experience different positions.
  • Lateral moves similar to cross training but provides a new challenge and a chance to learn new skills without additional work responsibilities.
  • Mentoring can provide guidance and knowledge transfer to employees.
  • Self-directed training puts individual employees in control and allows for differences in learning styles.

Building an Employee Development Plan

A satisfied employee will likely stay longer and be more productive. A detailed plan ensures that employees continue to feel driven and provides them with opportunities to improve their skills and advance their careers. With an expanded skill set, staff have more tools to help your business grow.

Building a development plan (PDF) requires commitment from both employer and the employee. Here are some questions to consider when building a development plan:

  • What are your business needs?
  • What are your employee’s needs?
  • Where are the gaps?
  • What are your options?

Succession Planning

Succession planning is the process of identifying and developing people who can fill key positions and minimize knowledge loss in an organization when employees leave.

Effective succession planning can:

  • ensure that there will be minimal disruptions to your business when staff leave
  • develop a qualified pool of candidates who are ready to fill key positions
  • demonstrate commitment to developing career paths for employees
  • send a message to your employees that they are valuable

As an owner – when you are leaving your business:

At some point you will be leaving your business, whether you sell, transfer your business to others or simply close the doors. Having a succession plan will help ensure value to your business, optimize financial security (including capital gains and tax implications), enhance employee relationships and provide peace of mind knowing that your business legacy will align with your vision.

As a manager – when you want to avoid loss of knowledge:

It is inevitable that staff will leave your organization. Being prepared means you are not left scrambling to run day-to-day operations. However, with careful planning, you can ensure skills and knowledge stay in your company and the impact to the organization is minimized.

Learn more about succession planning for managers here.