As a new year begins, many embrace the milestone as an opportunity to commit to a set of personal or professional development goals. Resolving to lose weight or take up a new hobby are certainly commendable inward-facing commitments, but this season, I urge medical practice managers to also explore outward-facing resolutions that will help build the talent of staff members.
Developing Your Employees for the Future
The following are a set of talent-building resolutions that I believe will help physicians and practice leaders further develop employees in the coming year. These suggestions are specifically designed to enhance overall staff performance and job satisfaction:
- Recognize employee successes
- Provide regular constructive performance feedback
- Clarify expectations for individual employees
- Communicate goals and objectives for the upcoming year
- Ask employees to share specific career aspirations
- Encourage input from employees regarding skills they would like to learn or develop
- Share thoughts with employees on areas that could helpful to achieve both their personal goals and company objectives
By engaging staff in the employee development process, workers will recognize that leaders are investing in their future with the necessary support to help them succeed. Conversely, individuals who do not feel engaged are more likely to look for an employer that can provide them with opportunities for career growth—which means that employee development is also a critical retention tool.
Practice leaders can start by implementing an Employee Development Plan (EDP) during the performance management cycle. This will create an opportunity for open dialogue about employees’ individual career development. Part of the EDP should focus on improving the business acumen of each employee, helping staff understand the company as a whole and how each department furthers its mission and objectives. Leaders should also consider cross-training employees to work on projects outside of their normal job responsibilities.
Any time an employee can accomplish something new, this success fosters pride, excitement, and renewed energy.
For an EDP to be successful, managers must provide regular feedback and coaching to employees. Timely feedback helps staff better understand what may be preventing them from reaching their current objectives, and coaching provides the necessary assistance for employees to achieve future goals. In addition, when it comes to employee development, managers should always lead by example, demonstrating that development plans are an effective tool for everyone, regardless of seniority. Leaders should stress that all professionals have strengths as well as areas for improvement, and by implementing EDPs for all staff, managers will help shape future company leaders.
To learn more about this topic, Curi members may listen to the November HR|Experts mini-webinar, titled “Employee Development Planning.”
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