Employee Development refers to the initiatives that are taken by the individuals and the organizations to enhances the capacity and competence of the individuals that directly builds organizational capability to efficiently and effectively perform their business functions.
Importance of Employee Development
Employee Development refers to the initiatives that are taken by the individuals and the organizations to enhances the capacity and competence of the individuals that directly builds organizational capability to efficiently and effectively perform their business functions. it has partly from training in business organizations. although the impact and boundaries of training programs are limited. Training is a one time event, although the opinion is that training is a pathway for future development but its a one time activity whereas development is an ongoing process. increasingly there is a shift from training to development, it not only reflects the awareness of learning and its role but also the strategic implications of learned human resource.
Need for Employee Development
Primarily Employee Development serves two objectives.
- Brining an improvement in Organizational Performance,
- Developing the skills, knowledge and attitudes of Employee.
In both cases, learning is central, initiative are taken whereby individuals learn through varied means and mediums. Both organizational performance and individual growth are realized from the learning capability of the individuals and the organization. The major drivers for the increased emphasis on learning capability include the need for
- Continuous Improvement
- Continuous Adaptation.
Continuous improvement, A concept that grew in 1980's with the the implementation of total quality management (TQM). The emphasis in TQM is on measurement of increased performance through constant feedback and reflection. The process is referred to as Single Loop Learning. The intentions is on constant learning to performance better and make business processes more effective and efficient, the work processes are improved through incremental improvements over time.
Newness in service and product delivery is on reason why organizations are able to attain competitive advantage. but doing so is not easy, it requires business to take risk and innovate. Central to this process is being creative and learning constantly from mistakes, actions, micro and macro environment. Learning aids in understanding new ways of reconfiguring concepts and ideas.
Learning and reflection are not one time activities, in order to reap rewards constantly one has to engage in these activities continuously. Retaining competitive advantage requires businesses to constantly learn, adapt to changing market condition and respond to the external market conditions that includes customer needs, new competitors, and new technology.
Types of Employee Development
The emphasis of Employee development is on formal education, job experiences, assessment centers, and mentoring and coaching programs. All of the aforementioned programs are focused on developing competencies directly related to future contribution to an organization as they are future oriented, The aim of the learning initiative shall be on the employee’s current position plus on the preparation of employees for future roles.
University Degree programs or "Corporate Universities" form the Formal education learning function. It involves lectures by business experts/senior executives in the organization or from outside the organization.
Job Experiences are made up of working through problems, decision making, interpersonal relationships, and task management. Job Experiences aid in development through facing new tasks and challenges. this is done through stretch the current level of skills, through forcing oneself to learn and develop to grow and create its value.
The process of Assessment involves collecting information and providing feedback about performance, skills, and behaviors on the job. This needs to be a constant process where by support is also provided on how to develop the skills required and how to rectify the current anomalies. Methods that are used for assessment include instruments/Questionnaires, other forms include personality assessments, psychological tests, and leaderless group discussions.
Mentoring and Coaching Programs
In order to develop employees an effective tool is Mentoring, either one-on-one or with a group, it has been a potent way to develop employees. In mentoring an experienced senior employee who works one-on-one with a less experienced employee (proteÂ´geÂ´). It is important that for the mentoring process to be effective it has to be based on shared interests, values, or similar personalities. On the other hand Coaching involves a manager or peer who works with an employee to develop skills and provide feedback. Coaching works in a way where coach works one-on-one with employees, by provision of information and resources, that aids in employee learning on there own.
Businesses exists to grow and develop, the same is true for the employees, Organizations that are focused on employee development are better equipped to achieve organizational development. It is important that plans are tailored and modified to appeal to separate individuals and groups, as it would help in making them more efficient and effective.
Ann Gilley, A., Gilley, J., Quatro, S and Dixon, P. (2009). The Praeger Handbook of Human Resource Management. Praeger: USA