Growth and Development Many companies provide opportunities for employee training, but sometimes that Is not enough. Managers and leaders must ensure that the environment Is suited for learning, developing the careers of their employees, and collaboration In determining the needs of the employee. An environment that fosters employee growth and development Is Imperative In today’s workplace and can Improve employee satisfaction. We will look at Robert Stringers climate dimensions and how they can contribute to an environment of growth and development. (10) According to the
Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program, “Opportunities for Promotion and Internal Career Advancement” are opportunities for employee growth and development. A company, or an organization within a company, concerned with employee retention will have a growth and development process that will provide employees with the learning opportunities and the ability to advance their career within their current employer. This ability to advance within a company will also motivate employees to do their best work. Employees that have clear, specific performance goals to reach can be successful and have the ability to Improve their organizational status.
Organizational structure can also dictate the amount of internal and external learning opportunities that are available to employees. SC has an extensive organizational structure and provides hundreds, if not thousands, of learning opportunities for its employees. SC provides the entire course for the Project Management Professional certification. As you may know, this course involves approximately 120 hours of training classes I was able to successfully complete all of the training courses and successfully passed the Project Management Professional certification test.
All of the training was provided internally, free of charge and I found this very motivating. The PM certification opened up another career path for me within SC. This designation allows me the opportunity to apply for positions anywhere In the world within SC. Currently I am In a training class to obtain my SIX Sigma certification. This training Is helping me to review processes and reduce errors wealth my current position. I am a motivational example to my employees by using the growth opportunities within SC. I encourage my employees to take advantage of these opportunities as well.
My employees have a positive example to follow that our training programs are solid and that they too can further their growth and development. SC also requires each employee to have an Individual Development Plan (DIP). This is an electronic record of all learning events that an employee will complete during the year. It is a collaborative effort between managers and employees to develop the employee’s growth and development that has proven to work well. The employee DIP is reviewed on a regular basis by the manager and the employee to ensure that the employee Is on track and goals are being attained.
Adjustments are made as necessary throughout the year. This process has been well received by both managers and employees. Organizational standards, the next of Stringer’s climate dimensions, are Important to the growth and employees and push those employees to be better. Leaders must be careful, however, to set attainable standards or denomination may be the result as shown in the book Power Up, “The leader must somehow find a way to stretch the group without tearing it apart” (136). Leaders must also embody Stringer’s fifth target practice, “Demonstrating personal commitment to achieving goals” (123).
If leaders do not show that they care, the employees will know it, and they will not care either. I had a manager who I felt was pushing me over my limits. She would push me and push me until I felt that I could go no further. At the point where I was ready to “Jump over the cliff’, she would step back and encourage me with the successes I had achieved and encourage me to improve where I needed to. This experience taught me the value of pushing employees and the success that can be achieved with the right guidance. I am grateful to this manager for this experience.
Leaders and organizations must show support for continued employee growth and development. Organizations can show support in a variety of ways. During poor economic times the University of Washington states, “Even in tough times, it’s important to allot time and money for classes, training, and other professional development opportunities. ” Companies must continue to offer internal and external training programs, educational reimbursement, and continuing education opportunities. If the organization continues to show support, employee engagement will remain high.
Leaders must also show support by discussing the growth and development options with their employees. All company sponsored training programs, both internal and external, must be discussed with all employees. Leaders and managers must also continue to have career path discussions with their employees. With these discussions, leaders show their continued support and commitment to the growth of employees. Leaders must also remember that if an employee is growing that employee is motivated and engaged. Commitment, another of Stringer’s climate dimensions, is needed to ensure employees are allowed time to work on growth opportunities.
Many times employees must use work hours to complete training or to develop career plans. Employees must also show commitment to their own growth opportunities. Commitment is largely shared between employer and employee, and without commitment from both parties growth and development could stall. The last climate dimension is responsibility and again it is shared between leaders and employees. Leaders must provide employees with information regarding company standards surrounding tuition reimbursement and opportunities for both internal and external training and development.
In the article “Career Development: Shifting from Nicety to Necessity,” Beverly Kay and Patrick Smith state, “While the individual employee has the primary responsibility for his own career, the leader must be a supportive coach…. ” (54). An employee can only be forced to complete required trainings as assigned, but this does not mean that there will be growth and development. It is the responsibility of the employee to give commitment to their own career growth. SC provides a wide array of growth and development opportunities for all employees.
I am encouraged by my business unit and its adhering because it exhibits most the climate dimensions as discussed. The support and commitment of my leadership team, enables me to participate as much online and on-ground, for their employees. This does not mean they do. It also does not mean if a company does provide growth and development opportunities that these opportunities are a priority. For companies to be successful, they need to ensure there are standards and structure in place to facilitate a climate of growth.