People are the backbone of great businesses. As such, every organisation (regardless of its size, shape, or industry) needs a concrete, clear, and comprehensive people development strategy to ensure they get the best out of their teams for business success.
A people development strategy is the process used by all great businesses to equip employees with the right skills, knowledge, and attitudes to succeed. It effectively drives continuous improvement across an organisation and nurtures a growth culture where everyone thrives.
Great businesses are focused on setting goals to work toward and achieve.
To create a people development strategy that efficiently encourages professional and business growth, you need to customise your approach accordingly. One size doesn’t fit all.
What is your end objective? What does success look like for you?
The first step in building a leading people development strategy requires you to take the time to explore your organisation’s specific needs.
Where do you want to be in six months? What about a year? How about a decade?
Asking yourself these questions is really crucial in helping you gain clarity on your next actions. Otherwise, you’ll be travelling down a road with no destination.
Step 2. Map Your Goals
From here, you can start to compare where you are now and where you’d like to be in the future, identifying the best way forward.
What are your team’s strengths and weaknesses? Which employees show the most potential? Is there training that everyone could benefit from?
The map you make during this process will be the foundation of your people development strategy. Be as specific as possible in outlining the expectations you have for your employees.
A timeline can be a really motivational tool for people's development.
It gives your team a clear understanding of the progress they need to be making and even encourages them to engage more with their learning.
By putting one in place, you can start to add more structure to your goal-setting and achieving.
It can be really easy to get so caught up in your overall goals that you try to execute a hundred different plans at once.
A people development strategy shouldn’t be confusing or complex, so it’s best to narrow your focus to specific tasks. What’s your first step? What’s your second one?
All progress is good progress and moving forward a little bit at a time is still worth celebrating.
Once you’ve clarified your purpose and have decided which achievements you want to prioritise, you can start to distribute the right resources to make this happen.
This will require you to take a hands-on approach, connecting your employees with mentors, online training materials, and other development opportunities.
Step 5. Be Prepared to Adapt
As employees are complex and unpredictable beings, the development approach that works for one person won’t always work for the next. Therefore, you’ll need to adapt your strategy according to each individual, catering to different learning styles and equipping everyone for success.
Try as they might, no one else can dictate what success looks like for your organisation. Only your definition matters.
As long as your employees are making progress and their performance is becoming stronger day by day, you should give yourself a pat on the back.
A people development strategy is a long and ongoing process, but it’s well worth the effort. You and your team deserve to celebrate the little wins alongside the big ones.
Great businesses constantly take their employees and their operations to new heights.
As well as being clear and easy to follow, your people development strategy should be extensive and regularly updated.
Whenever an employee hits a target, they should already have another one to work toward - creating a cycle of ongoing success. This will enable business growth long into the future.
“While it’s ultimately the individual’s responsibility to own their professional development, it’s to the employer’s benefit to encourage continuing education by ensuring staff have access to both internal and external learning opportunities.” - BuiltIn
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