Target developmental spending toward closing key organizational competency gaps and addressing drivers of employee satisfaction and retention (i.e., engagement). Competency gaps are typically documented during business strategy/planning. Senior management then needs to prioritize the gaps that are most important to address, given their connection to critical business goals and the amount of investment required to close these gaps. If goals are not set for career development outcomes such as retention and engagement, you should take the opportunity to suggest that they be incorporated.
Align your development process with broad organizational goals and your HR strategy. This process should encompass career development planning, implementation and measurement. The development process needs to connect individual development planning to the key organizational competency gaps and goals. Performance management, as well as aligning your compensation accordingly, provides an effective mechanism for making this connection.
Use a reasonably broad spectrum of career development tactics that includes training, career paths, individual development planning, mentoring, developmental assignments and 360-degree feedback. Many organizations have instituted formal individual development planning and training. While these establish a strong foundation to build upon, their effectiveness in building competency is limited. True learning, and hopefully enhanced performance, comes only when an individual applies these new skills, gets feedback on performance and obtains coaching from those who are more proficient.
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