by Margaret Rogers
Just like a business must understand what its customers need to produce the most impactful products, managers must understand what their team members need to create the most valuable learning opportunities. Think of this approach to employee development as “user-centered” with the “user” or the “employee” being top of mind. To start, set up one-on-one meetings with your direct reports and ask questions that will help you understand what areas they most want to grow in. Then, look for on-the-job learning opportunities to help people develop by considering what experiences will best cater to their personal needs. Smaller opportunities are best when an employee is unfamiliar with a necessary skill. Bigger opportunities that require employees to take risks and stretch beyond their comfort zones are more suited to individuals who have prior experience carrying out a certain task; in these moments, they can put their skills to the test more independently and play a larger role.
We’re in the middle of a work revolution. Globalization and the rise of artificial intelligence, paired with a new generation of consumers who desire more personal, intuitive brand experiences, are forcing companies to rethink their approach to talent management and acquisition. Workers with capabilities that allow them to keep up with this pace of change — such as adaptability, technological literacy, and people-management — are now in steep demand. But today’s employers are struggling to keep them on board.