The current forecast is that most of us will have five different careers and up to seventeen jobs in our lifetime. Depending on how long you’ve been in the workforce, that can put learning—and sometimes wholesale reinvention—high up on the list of your personal priorities. If not for you, then it certainly will for your younger people.
The current forecast is that most of us will have five different careers and up to seventeen jobs in our lifetime. Depending on how long you’ve been in the workforce, that can put learning—and sometimes wholesale reinvention—high up on the list of your personal priorities. If not for you, then it certainly will for your younger people. According to a 2020 report by McKinsey, between 30 and 40 percent of those of us living in developed countries may need either to change our occupation or upgrade our skills significantly within the next ten years. From an organization viewpoint, this means investing in learning is a powerful way to attract and then retain great people. It also gives companies a crucial competitive edge, fast-forwarding engagement and innovation.
Typically, there are three main types of development planning discussion:
It’s likely that everyone will need extra skills or knowledge to deliver their existing goals. Keep in mind that this includes junior and senior people. As one board member once put it, “To be world class you still need to do the basics, just in ever-increasingly stressful situations.” Before you hold the conversation, set aside time to:
One of the best possible ways to motivate your people is to help them take a step towards their future. Not everyone wants to move further, but for those who do, having a plan will have a significant impact on their energy and effort, even if that plan is only a vague one. Useful areas to consider are:
Changes in your team’s line-up are inevitable, whether that’s because people are promoted, have gone elsewhere, or have taken retirement, so it’s always good management practice to consider who might replace whom. It’s also your responsibility to train up your own successor. This might seem as if you’re doing yourself out of a job, but if you need to train your successor, so too does your boss. If no one’s ready to take your role, you might not be released to move up.
Don’t forget to follow up regularly. Your ongoing support for development goals will make all the difference to people’s success. Your team members will be weighing up whether it’s worthwhile prioritizing that investment over the many other demands on their time, and your attention is often the signal they need.
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