Even the smallest interaction, suitably framed, can have a large impact on an individual’s development, growth and future within your team and the credit union.
As a leader, you spend a lot of your time connecting with your staff. Within a given day or week, a leader can connect with their staff members in a variety of ways, including emails, text, video calls or the “pop-in,” which can be in-person or virtual these days. It is easy for these connections to steer towards the day-to-day. But when that happens too often, it means you’re missing an opportunity to develop for the future.
Enter the development discussion. Most leaders connect with their staff regularly during scheduled check-ins and quick touch bases to provide guidance on a project, navigate relationship challenges, offer feedback or simply engage in small talk. The idea of adding another discussion to the schedule can feel daunting. However, even the smallest interaction, suitably framed, can have a large impact on an individual’s development, growth and future within your team and the credit union. This is the ripple effect of talent development.
A development discussion is designed to provide career planning and management between an individual and his/her direct leader. The goal is to build on strengths and grow skills that will support growth within a current position and future duties or roles. A development discussion can be a formal event, scheduled regularly throughout the year to touch base on goals or provide updates on an individual development plan. Development discussions can also be interjected into regular conversations by explaining how strengths are used to help train a new team member or how working on a cross-functional project team will deepen a team member’s understanding of the organization.
When opportunities for development in everyday work are highlighted, individuals can see opportunities to grow their skill sets. These discussions have a larger impact on the individual, you as a leader, and the organization. Here are a few benefits of development conversations:
- Demonstrate the value each employee brings to the organization and dedication to development
- Establish connections between individual work and the organizational mission, vision and strategy to reinforce the value and impact of work.
- Align individual development goals with the organizational strategy to support future growth and build bench strength
- Reinforce expectations and needs for current roles and opportunities for future growth
- Support future skills development
As a leader, taking time to engage in these discussions saves time and creates more value in the long run. When was the last time you had a development-focused conversation with your staff? Have you followed up on the identified actions or goal progress? Schedule time to touch base again if needed.
Jennifer Stangl is director of professional development at CUES. CUES Consulting offers support in the creation of individual development plans for employees as well as resources for leaders to hone their skills in supporting employee development.
Research conducted by CUES and the Creative Problem Solving Group through the Situational Outlook Questionnaire found a link between talent development and an individual’s connection to the organization’s mission, long-term goals and desire to remain challenged in their work.