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Organizations driven by a culture of learning have higher levels of talent retention. Considering the value of career development and growth opportunities for workforce members, this should come as no surprise.

Investing in team members’ growth makes them more valuable contributors as well: 40–60% of an individual’s “human-capital value” comes from skills gained through their employment experience.

The industry data illustrates that fostering professional development not only enhances individuals’ sense of value at work but also elevates their ability to make team contributions.

However, the roadblock lies in how.

How can organizations leverage growth to serve each individual while bolstering team performance? It’s a complex roadmap that often takes well thought out navigation and some experimentation.

Fortunately, our template on how to help team members grow offers tangible solutions to this challenge.

1. Understand Individual Goals

Helping your team members grow begins with conducting goal-setting sessions. These sessions have two objectives:

  • Learn the goals, interests, and aspirations of your individual team members.
  • Connect individual goals to team objectives to create alignment. Encourage each team member to contribute ideas. The more they are involved in creating this connection, the more committed they will be to achieving their goals.

Here are some examples of questions to raise:

  • What skills or competencies would you like to develop in the upcoming year?
  • How do you see your role evolving within the team or organization?
  • What projects or tasks are you most passionate about?
  • How do your individual goals align with the team’s objectives?
  • What learning or development opportunities do you feel would benefit you the most?
  • How would you like to receive feedback on your progress toward these goals?
  • What metrics or milestones can we use to track your progress?
  • What role can I play as a leader to assist you in reaching your goals?

2. Set Team Members Up for Success with Development Opportunities

Both formal and informal opportunities for development can aid in team members’ growth and hold them accountable for completing their goals.

Examples of formal development initiatives might include the following:

  • Cross-training: If a team member is interested in growing into another role at the organization or acquiring additional skills, cross-training is a productive strategy. You can assist them in dedicating time for training and working outside their current position.
  • Workshops and seminars: Team members can network and gain new perspectives on priority subjects relevant to their industry.
  • Trade-specific programs: Those looking to gain vocational skills may require trade-specific programs. Team members can acquire expertise that will help them move closer to their career objectives.
  • Online educational courses: Online courses are a helpful way to provide ongoing learning opportunities.

CMOE offers several professional development programs that foster workforce learning and growth. We also carry industry-specific programs for those interested in widening their horizons.

Examples of informal development initiatives, which team members can pursue in a more self-directed manner, might include opportunities like those listed below:

  • Exploring new and in-demand technologies that can elevate their skills and value in their role
  • Attending conferences in their community that can provide new insights to apply to their role
  • Participating in industry forums that enable team members to take on a more active role as thought leaders

3. Provide Recognition and Feedback

Recognition and feedback are two vital tools that provide encouragement and opportunities for development.

When workforce members feel their contributions are recognized by their company, they are “four times as likely to be engaged” at work.

Recognition Strategies

  • Inclusion in decision-making: Involve team members in decision-making processes or special projects. This demonstrates that you trust their abilities and recognize their expertise.
  • Acknowledgment: Acknowledge achievements in team meetings, newsletters, or companywide communications as appropriate. You can also organize celebrations like lunches and team-building events. The objective is to share successes and foster camaraderie.
  • Award programs: Implement an award program to formally recognize outstanding achievements. Awards could be a symbolic gift, additional paid time off, or tickets to a local event.
  • Promotion: A promotion would involve increased job responsibilities with adjusted compensation. It should signify a milestone closer to the team member’s growth goals discussed in Step 1.

Oftentimes, plans change, or initial strategies do not work out. Thus, the growth journey must include consistent and growth-oriented feedback to help team members make the right adjustments.

Feedback Strategies

  • Balancing the types of feedback you share: Acknowledge strengths and positive contributions while also providing constructive feedback.
  • Offering solutions or suggestions: When providing constructive feedback, include potential solutions or suggestions for how to apply that feedback directly.
  • Providing clear examples: Support your feedback with concrete examples to illustrate your points and facilitate more targeted improvement. This helps team members better understand the issue at hand and how it impacts outcomes.
  • Asking open-ended questions: Encourage dialogue by asking open-ended questions. This invites team members to share their perspectives and what they’ve learned from this development initiative. Moreover, it provides space for them to ask questions and provide feedback.
  • Using a growth-mindset approach: Frame feedback to reflect a growth mindset. Emphasize the potential for learning and improvement rather than viewing challenges as fixed traits.

Team Growth Is a Continuous Journey

We encourage you to help team members view growth as a continuous, lifelong journey that requires a proactive approach. As they acquire new skills and expertise, they are responsible for creating impact by sharing that knowledge with others.

Work is a prevailing component of modern life. This merits a commitment to growth, both for personal fulfillment and for the team’s sustained success. Contact us today to receive the learning and development support your team needs.

“The actions you take in developing and maximizing your people’s potential will ultimately have a lasting impact for them, your leadership legacy, and the business at large.” —Eric Mead, SVP at CMOE