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Creating Growth and Development Culture

Creating Growth and Development Culture

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PAGE 1
While Employee
Development Programs Can
Fail, Growth Organizations
Help Everyone Succeed
Over the last several years businesses have begun focusing more on the growth and wellbeing
of their employees. And many organizations have implementation costly employee development
programs. While it makes sense to respond to employees’ desires for growth in the workplace,
understanding how to improve the effectiveness of these programs can be a challenge.
Today organizations must make two decisions: first, whether they will just assess performance or
work to improve it, and second, whether they will create collaborative environments or competitive
ones. But the number one question that today’s business leaders must ask themselves is: What do
employees really need to become their best selves at work?
WRITTEN BY 15FIVE
Contact:
Equinox Partners Ltd
Metro City Business Center
51, Alexander Malinov Blvd
Sofia, Bulgaria
Plamen Petrov
plamen.petrov@equinox-partners.bg
+359 899 826 714
PAGE 2
A Culture of Employee Growth &
Development
There’s a common saying in the business world: People
don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers. While
it’s true that an employee’s manager is responsible for
creating a positive employee experience, research
suggests that many people leave companies because
they feel like they’ve stopped growing.
According to The Society for Human Resources
Management’s Employee Job Satisfaction and
Engagement Report, an organization’s commitment
to employee development is “very important” to 40%
of those surveyed. Yet only 25% feel “very satisfied”
with the level of commitment to development at their
organization.
It’s clear, modern organizations must be intentional
about employee growth and development initiatives.
This takes two forms; (1) increasing the levels of skill and
knowledge within a person’s current role, and (2) career
development.
Growth Organizations Have a
Competitive Edge
Technology has dramatically sped up the timeline for
new companies to bring their products to market. Great
ideas can be duplicated in what seems like moments
and market share pilfered in months. A company’s
greatest competitive advantage is its people.
Accordingly, every manager’s job is twofold: to
regularly communicate with their employees to learn
about their strengths, weaknesses, and personal/
professional aspirations; and to create a safe space
where employees readily volunteer their mistakes,
opportunities, and triumphs.
According to Carol Dweck when an entire company
embraces a growth mindset – i.e., the belief that talents
can be developed as opposed to being fixed innate
gifts – their employees feel more empowered and
committed. Business leaders therefore must actively
work to embrace a growth mindset and create a Growth
Organization.
In a growth organization every member of the team can
grow their personal and collective strengths, skills, and
abilities. The company will grow in terms of product
innovation, employee headcount, customer count, and
of course revenue and profitability.
Focusing on development goes beyond putting
people-first and often represents a 180 degree shift
in management philosophy. It is more than perks,
compensation, and positive work environments. This
philosophy isn’t focused on hitting the numbers. Rather
it’s a focus on employee development and building a
culture of growth.
Leaders must now create a deliberate culture and stop
looking at profit and business objectives first. While
these matters are obviously important, leaders must
PAGE 3
prioritize their people and the systems that can help
them thrive. Being deliberate about employee growth
includes training in soft skills as well as professional
development.
Employee development programs can fail when
growth is not expressed as a core value of the
organization. Leadership must commit to consistently
listening to employee feedback, and then have every
employee obtain new skills and access the latest
information that is relevant to their roles.
This benefits both the organization and the individual
employee and can be done with very little cost by
growing a library of business books or providing
access to online repositories of information. Allocating
a certain amount of departmental budgets to
seminars, conferences, and continuing education can
also yield a high ROI.
When Good Is Not Good Enough
As mentioned above, employees deeply desire to
advance in their roles. Ironically, what often holds
them back is being good at what they do!
One of the best frameworks for moving an employee
forward within their role is the four zones of employee
performance discussed in The Big Leap, by Gay
Hendricks:
1. Zone of Incompetence: Employees are bogged
down doing tasks that they are not good at, and
often stagnate from frustration.
2. Zone of Competence: Employees are competent,
but not doing tasks that they are uniquely skilled
to perform.
3. Zone of Excellence: Employees perform activities
extremely well and make a great living, but are
capable of much more.
4. Zone of Genius: Self-actualization (at least in the
workplace) via offering one’s unique gifts.
While the goal is to move every employee from Zone 1
to Zone 4, the common area that people remain stuck
is Zone 3, the Zone of Excellence. This is the danger
zone for managing talent. People add tremendous
value to their team here, but they don’t feel fulfilled.
We will always have to perform tasks that we find
less than thrilling, but the goal is that the majority
of work that an employee performs falls within their
Zone of Genius. This is work they are exceptional at
performing and are deeply passionate about.
It can be difficult for employees to ask managers
about removing seemingly vital activities from their
plate because. It is part of a manager’s role to make
the space for employees to feel comfortable talking
about these things.
Career Development, Not Career
Confinement
The other aspect of growth that employees desire
is career development. But the reality is that some
companies may not be able to provide a path for
people to move into greater responsibilities.
John Hall, CEO of Influence & Co., wrote in this
Inc. article, that every workplace should serve as a
stepping stone. Hall explains that training employees
encourages retention but the alternative is fine too.
While it may feel scary for managers to focus on
career development at the risk of losing their best and
brightest, this is a commitment they must make.
By giving employees the freedom to explore, you are
saying, I care about your best interests over mine.
You may lose some of the people who interview
elsewhere, but they shouldn’t be at your business
anyway. We never get the best work from those we
hold hostage.
PAGE 4
When you hire an intelligent and skilled individual,
those are merely indicators of how successful they
can become. Of course, their trajectory can go the
other way too. Only management and leadership
that is committed to employee development can
take existing talent to the next level by creating
environments where people flourish.
Growth Organizations are unique in that people feel
genuinely supported as human beings. That drives
them to naturally want to improve and contribute and
as a result everyone benefits, including your investors
and valued customers.
15Five is a leading continuous performance management solution that not only guides employee growth and
development but empowers people to become their best selves. Through strategic Weekly Check-Ins, 15Five delivers
everything a manager needs to maintain visibility and impact employee performance, including continuous feedback,
Objectives (OKR) tracking, recognition, 1-on-1s, and 360° reviews. Over 2,200 forward-thinking companies use the
solution to bring out the best in their people, including Credit Karma, WPEngine, and HubSpot.
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Creating Growth and Development Culture

  • 1. PAGE 1 While Employee Development Programs Can Fail, Growth Organizations Help Everyone Succeed Over the last several years businesses have begun focusing more on the growth and wellbeing of their employees. And many organizations have implementation costly employee development programs. While it makes sense to respond to employees’ desires for growth in the workplace, understanding how to improve the effectiveness of these programs can be a challenge. Today organizations must make two decisions: first, whether they will just assess performance or work to improve it, and second, whether they will create collaborative environments or competitive ones. But the number one question that today’s business leaders must ask themselves is: What do employees really need to become their best selves at work? WRITTEN BY 15FIVE Contact: Equinox Partners Ltd Metro City Business Center 51, Alexander Malinov Blvd Sofia, Bulgaria Plamen Petrov plamen.petrov@equinox-partners.bg +359 899 826 714
  • 2. PAGE 2 A Culture of Employee Growth & Development There’s a common saying in the business world: People don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers. While it’s true that an employee’s manager is responsible for creating a positive employee experience, research suggests that many people leave companies because they feel like they’ve stopped growing. According to The Society for Human Resources Management’s Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report, an organization’s commitment to employee development is “very important” to 40% of those surveyed. Yet only 25% feel “very satisfied” with the level of commitment to development at their organization. It’s clear, modern organizations must be intentional about employee growth and development initiatives. This takes two forms; (1) increasing the levels of skill and knowledge within a person’s current role, and (2) career development. Growth Organizations Have a Competitive Edge Technology has dramatically sped up the timeline for new companies to bring their products to market. Great ideas can be duplicated in what seems like moments and market share pilfered in months. A company’s greatest competitive advantage is its people. Accordingly, every manager’s job is twofold: to regularly communicate with their employees to learn about their strengths, weaknesses, and personal/ professional aspirations; and to create a safe space where employees readily volunteer their mistakes, opportunities, and triumphs. According to Carol Dweck when an entire company embraces a growth mindset – i.e., the belief that talents can be developed as opposed to being fixed innate gifts – their employees feel more empowered and committed. Business leaders therefore must actively work to embrace a growth mindset and create a Growth Organization. In a growth organization every member of the team can grow their personal and collective strengths, skills, and abilities. The company will grow in terms of product innovation, employee headcount, customer count, and of course revenue and profitability. Focusing on development goes beyond putting people-first and often represents a 180 degree shift in management philosophy. It is more than perks, compensation, and positive work environments. This philosophy isn’t focused on hitting the numbers. Rather it’s a focus on employee development and building a culture of growth. Leaders must now create a deliberate culture and stop looking at profit and business objectives first. While these matters are obviously important, leaders must
  • 3. PAGE 3 prioritize their people and the systems that can help them thrive. Being deliberate about employee growth includes training in soft skills as well as professional development. Employee development programs can fail when growth is not expressed as a core value of the organization. Leadership must commit to consistently listening to employee feedback, and then have every employee obtain new skills and access the latest information that is relevant to their roles. This benefits both the organization and the individual employee and can be done with very little cost by growing a library of business books or providing access to online repositories of information. Allocating a certain amount of departmental budgets to seminars, conferences, and continuing education can also yield a high ROI. When Good Is Not Good Enough As mentioned above, employees deeply desire to advance in their roles. Ironically, what often holds them back is being good at what they do! One of the best frameworks for moving an employee forward within their role is the four zones of employee performance discussed in The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks: 1. Zone of Incompetence: Employees are bogged down doing tasks that they are not good at, and often stagnate from frustration. 2. Zone of Competence: Employees are competent, but not doing tasks that they are uniquely skilled to perform. 3. Zone of Excellence: Employees perform activities extremely well and make a great living, but are capable of much more. 4. Zone of Genius: Self-actualization (at least in the workplace) via offering one’s unique gifts. While the goal is to move every employee from Zone 1 to Zone 4, the common area that people remain stuck is Zone 3, the Zone of Excellence. This is the danger zone for managing talent. People add tremendous value to their team here, but they don’t feel fulfilled. We will always have to perform tasks that we find less than thrilling, but the goal is that the majority of work that an employee performs falls within their Zone of Genius. This is work they are exceptional at performing and are deeply passionate about. It can be difficult for employees to ask managers about removing seemingly vital activities from their plate because. It is part of a manager’s role to make the space for employees to feel comfortable talking about these things. Career Development, Not Career Confinement The other aspect of growth that employees desire is career development. But the reality is that some companies may not be able to provide a path for people to move into greater responsibilities. John Hall, CEO of Influence & Co., wrote in this Inc. article, that every workplace should serve as a stepping stone. Hall explains that training employees encourages retention but the alternative is fine too. While it may feel scary for managers to focus on career development at the risk of losing their best and brightest, this is a commitment they must make. By giving employees the freedom to explore, you are saying, I care about your best interests over mine. You may lose some of the people who interview elsewhere, but they shouldn’t be at your business anyway. We never get the best work from those we hold hostage.
  • 4. PAGE 4 When you hire an intelligent and skilled individual, those are merely indicators of how successful they can become. Of course, their trajectory can go the other way too. Only management and leadership that is committed to employee development can take existing talent to the next level by creating environments where people flourish. Growth Organizations are unique in that people feel genuinely supported as human beings. That drives them to naturally want to improve and contribute and as a result everyone benefits, including your investors and valued customers. 15Five is a leading continuous performance management solution that not only guides employee growth and development but empowers people to become their best selves. Through strategic Weekly Check-Ins, 15Five delivers everything a manager needs to maintain visibility and impact employee performance, including continuous feedback, Objectives (OKR) tracking, recognition, 1-on-1s, and 360° reviews. Over 2,200 forward-thinking companies use the solution to bring out the best in their people, including Credit Karma, WPEngine, and HubSpot.