Employees are being told over and over again how they need to take responsibility for developing their own careers, and there is information being provided to them from all over to help them understand what they need to drive their careers forward. While no one is in any doubt that individuals must take charge, what is perhaps less clear is the role of the manager in developing their employees’ careers.

Great management is about taking a genuine interest in your team’s development, skills and contributions and facilitating the career progression that the individual is driving. It is often what attracts an employee to an organisation, what helps them deliver their best performance for that organisation and, arguably, what encourages them to stay with that organisation.

With this in mind, here are some tips on how to keep track of and enhance your employees’ potential:

1. Track your team’s performance
Do you really understand the respective strengths and weaknesses of those in your team? Spend some time recording and analysing your employees’ skills and areas of weakness to find where they could benefit from additional training and development.

2. Plan opportunities for development
With this information to hand you can begin implementing on-the-job-training by incorporating your team’s development needs when setting their work schedule. Ask employees to identify the areas where they feel they could benefit from more experience.

3. Schedule regular progress updates
Limiting feedback to an annual or quarterly appraisal alone just won’t cut it. Make time to have regular one-on-one chats with your employees to let them know how they’re progressing in their role and to take stock of any challenges they may be encountering.

4. Facilitate opportunities for progression within the firm
As a manager it’s your job to share talent across the firm. Make your employees aware of opportunities available in other departments where their talents could be appreciated, developed and their careers could be taken to the next level and let the rest of the organisation know of any star performers or potential transfers.

Simple techniques such are these should be easy to implement while adding relatively little to your existing workload. With the chance to gain recognition as an effective leader and mentor, adopting an altruistic approach to your employee’s development needs can produce positive results for all.

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