UNDERSTAND HOW TO DEVELOP EMPLOYEES AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
Every organization must understand that developing people means caring for their main asset, which means they are the starting point to each and every operation to be performed. Successful businesses depend on their employees’ individual and collective success, and that result is a concrete representation of the return on the investment made upon hiring someone.
It is known that the corporate environment requires constant development from companies and their employees. Nowadays, one of the characteristics of the market reality is a high degree of agility. This increases the need for transformations, transformations that involve the ability to manage the complete development of people.
Therefore, people management is fundamental to enable that business development as a whole. Get to know what that concept means and how it can be strategic for your business! Enjoy your reading!
Before we start, please find on the video below a summary on the importance to manage people at your company, and what benefits that method may bring about:
What is people management?
In the corporate environment, many concepts are handled, which go through constant change. However, within every knowledge area, there is a never-changing essence, as it is about inherent needs of an object or life aspect.
Work is one of those dimensions originating new concepts, while keeping needs that are impossible to be ignored. Among those, we may highlight people management, added to tasks and operations performed by the institution or establishment itself.
Each form of work carries complexity that changes in keeping with the nature of its actions, the requirements from a certain kind of activity, among other factors that may impact it. Thus, people management is always connected to existing forms of work.
People management definition
The expression ‘people management’ concerns everything related to human behavior in an organization. Within the people management scope, the areas involved are Recruitment & Selection, Internal Communication and Training & Development.
Concerning the purpose of training, employees should be able to perform tasks predefined by managers. Development is part of a more complex triad, composed of “knowledge, skills and attitude”, enabling an employee to perform their job as fully as possible. Considering that, it may be observed how relevant it is to develop employees on both personal and professional aspects.
How people are seen within an organization shall determine human capital management, as well as managers’ priorities concerning internal strategies.
Please find below two examples of different views on people in the corporate environment and their influence on business:
People as resources
This way of viewing human capital, which is pretty common in environments where processes take precedence over people, brings a lot of consequences, outlining a culture that is often contrasting to employees’ needs. The main characteristics of this management model are:
- Inflexible work routines;
- Emphasis on rules and regulations;
- Power centered on “bosses”;
- Alienation from the organization mission;
- Focus on tasks;
- People seen as labor.
People as partners
In this other view, where people management is seen as a work partnership, instead of a mere marketing relationship, is characterized by higher synchronicity between employees and the corporate culture. Additionally, it is more likely to attract and retain talent. Please find some of its characteristics below:
- More flexible routines;
- Higher employee autonomy;
- Interdependent relations between different sectors (Learn how to integrate sectors, find the whole content here);
- Aligned with the company mission;
- Focus on results;
- People seen as intelligence.
Based on that comparison, it is possible to understand that the second view is closer to current market trends. Developing people is possible only by working within that concept, according to which human capital is treated in its entirety, being, therefore, stimulated on a more complete and constant manner.
People management and innovation
The process of managing human capital is, as any other organizational process, subject to changes over history. It is always placed in a certain economic and social scenario corresponding to the current marketing characteristics.
Thus, nowadays, when knowledge is a central tool for any business, developing people has become more strategic, in conjunction with other knowledge areas, such as Information Technology and Marketing.
Being strategic means joining human resources and business strategies, transforming information into market technology and optimizing time, investment and procedures. Technological advance has then become one of the drivers of strategic management.
From that marriage between HR and IT, a modernization is born, in procedures and in the sector as a whole, and also management decentralization, which is not only the human resources sector’s responsibility.
As a result, every manager from different sectors becomes responsible for managing their own team, and HR function is backing up those leaders and managing the leadership process itself.
The importance of developing people
Developing people makes a company grow, providing a solid basis of intellectual capital, which is one of the most influential aspects in the value of an organization. Additionally, that king of policy oriented to employees improvement generates positive effects on the organizational culture, becoming a differential in the market.
A company culture concerned about it’s teams integral growth has competitive advantages, as summarized below:
- Attracts talent;
- Retains talent;
- Strengthens the brand;
- Potential growth;
- Higher market value.
To Chiavenato, one of the main theorists in the organizational area, developing people differs from training itself. Training concerns constant stimulation of systematic changes in employee behavior, oriented to higher productivity.
To the author, developing people is “a set of experiences not necessarily related to the current function, but providing opportunities for professional development and growth, and it is more focused on employees’ personal growth, aimed at their future career – and not only their current position”.
With this in mind, it is understandable that developing people is beyond technical or operational aspects related to work. It involves personal evolution in conjunction with professional qualification.
The leadership role in developing people
Whatever a company’s mission, its values and identity as a whole are, the leader will always be the main mediator between the organization and the team. Quoting James Hunter, author of the best-seller The Servant, “if a leader is screaming or otherwise out of control, you surely can’t expect the team to be under control or behave responsibly either”
That means, the leader holds a reference position to their team, and is also actively responsible for their performance in general. As it is a people development-oriented culture, they are also responsible for transmitting it, as well as for strengthening those values.
The leader as a coach
Coach is a word most commonly used in the sports environment, but it has extended to all dimensions in life, including – and maybe predominantly – to the corporate environment. The essence of that role consists in transforming regular people into champions, by exploiting skills, improving attitudes and extracting potentials that may be dormant, or often, underdeveloped.
The business coach is a person committed to supporting someone with the purpose of improving their performance and promoting their professional and personal development.
Thus, the leader assisting in the people development process performs the role of a coach. They should improve their team and follow their evolution process closely. See how a leader may become a real coach to their team:
- By using discipline as a motivational instrument;
- By using feedback to improve performance and transform mistakes into learning
- By listening to and valuing the actions of their team;
- By encouraging team work.
Based on those four attitudes, the relationship between leaders and their teams becomes a learning network, promoting, above all, the improvement of both parties.
It is important to emphasize that a complete leader learns from their team. That means, when it comes to developing people, there is room for mutual evolution, as leadership is improved by exchanging with others.
Self-awareness in the organizational context
Talking about people always implies talking about self-awareness, regardless of the position held, as the more a potential is developed, the more skills and limitations are mastered.
From the first contact between an applicant and a company, the applicant must have some level of self-awareness, and so should the recruiter. The first because they need to express, in a short period of time, what they understand as their best skills, compatibility with the position offered, and also control their uneasiness, which is very common in situations like that. As for the recruiter, they must master their feelings and behaviors and not let personal values excessively influence their choices.
Personal marketing, for example, is a result of knowledge of oneself and communication technique learning. Thus, the deeper that knowledge, the more consistent one’s attitude, regardless the situation where they are required to show their value.
Nowadays, work is very time-consuming. So, it has become one of the main sources of self-fulfillment. Nevertheless, not everybody is able to see their job as a way to fulfillment. That happens because most people are not aware of their talents nor their limitations.
Often, a career choice is made based on financial matters, family influence, status, among others. But when it comes to evolution in a career, a lack of self-awareness is the main obstacle.
People development shall always provide a higher path of self-awareness. It is extremely necessary to act on that matter in all levels of hierarchy in the company. Only well-adjusted leaders and managers, both personal and professionally, may shape accomplished employees, aware of their role.
How to develop people
Knowledge, skills and attitude: development triad
Based on that triad, it is possible to develop people with the assurance of a complete job having been done. Knowledge, skills and attitude correspond to the set of elements required to be developed in an organization, so as its employees attain integral growth.
To make that information more instructive,we’re going to talk about each of these elements separately. Please follow along!
Knowledge is the factor with most differential impact among competitors in the market. Then, the question regarding that aspect is: how do you improve employee collaboration levels? Authors who deal with Knowledge management point out it is, in fact, a value when it becomes explicit.
Hence, every effort concerned to that element is oriented to make it accessible and concrete, as it is precisely the one to represent the famous organization know-how. Knowledge management comprises: content creation, collection, systematization and dissemination.
Therefore, companies should encourage relevant information sharing, create communication channels, standardize procedures, making them official so as to internalize them and lastly, promote learning by means of techniques and instruments from the corporate education universe.
Developing skills is the most comprehensive level for employees’ personal aspects, such as inclinations, aptitudes, experiences and ease of learning in certain areas.
It is herein important to emphasize that developing skills requirthe close observation of individuals. It includes following up on results and also the whole path leading to that result.
That follow-up is due to the fact that skills development is only possible if they are recognized. A leader who does not recognize the talents in their team, for instance, will have a less competent group than one they could have, if there was space for that recognition and work to improve already existing talents.
Attendance, interpersonal relationships, initiative, ethical behavior at work and punctuality are examples of attitude indexes. Working on those factors is as important as developing potential and providing knowledge.
Recurring habits and certain behavioral addictions are able to interfere with a person’s personal and professional pathway. Nevertheless, an intervention and constant change of those aspects may convert a stagnant career into an ascending one.
Therefore, a company may highlight important attitudes that add value to work. Constantly motivating employees by means of rewards, incentive programs, benefits, etc.
In that respect, feedback is a valuable instrument, both positive, which reinforces good attitudes, and negative, which corrects what does not add value or harms the employee, their team and the company as a whole.
Ways to develop people
There are a number of ways to develop people, including, but not limited to:
Consists of moving people throughout the organization, both vertically and horizontally, in order to expand knowledge, develop and enhance skills and attitudes. It is a temporary strategy that provides the employee with further experience, by exposing them to other operations existing in the company.
The full-time dedication by an employee to a certain project. It can be on a group or individual basis. It may also be related to problem solving in certain sectors and is usually employed in conjunction with other techniques.
Courses and workshops
One of the most widely known methods for promoting development, however, the way it is carried out may vary, it may be in-house or external. There is also the possibility of using technology as an aid, by means of learning applications, programs and platforms.
Simulating a challenging work situation may be an interesting action. In addition to being able to take employees out of their comfort zones, it may bring out situations that are constantly experienced in the company routine. Thus, it is possible to provide a possibility for such situations to be viewed from the outside, shared, debated and more easily addressed.
Employee performance evaluations may be carried out periodically. The most important thing is that it occurs on a regular basis. Additionally to being an important quality control tool, it is also able to offer employees development.
360-degree feedback, a model well known and widely used nowadays, is an example of an assessment that promotes complete improvement within an organization. It occurs in all hierarchical levels, comprising professionals from all fields of expertise and positions. Hence, it is proving to be an effective tool for companies to become aware of personnel performances.
As we have already seen, knowledge is only relevant when it is explicit. Methods offering more transparency on what happens in an organization are able to bring out expected development more easily.
Reaping benefits and results
Results from people development in organizations may be observed both internally, within the team itself, and externally. The internal company perspective provides important benefits. See below the most significant ones:
From the moment employees find in a company the support required for them to develop their careers while becoming fulfilled people, they tend to want to continue being part of that company. Talent retention is undoubtedly a concrete gain from the investment in people development.
The corporate culture is everything involving habits, beliefs, values and customs internalized in the company. A stagnant culture may represent a threat to business soundness, as with all new challenges the market provides all the time, it becomes difficult to work with a never-changing team, that does not significantly evolve.
Therefore, by moving towards development, the company is creating a learning culture, whose bases are solid concerning knowledge, but flexible enough to change in order to adapt to corporate environment oscillations and changes.
Favorable corporate environment
Corporate environment results from the working conditions employers offer employees. Considering this, working potential and the search for your teams personal and professional accomplishments, you are also able to increase people’s satisfaction, which reflects on the relationship between members from the same team, other sectors and leaders.
Impact on business
When it comes to disputing qualified professionals, the company that invests in the development of its talent offers an advantage over the others. People who have already attained satisfaction paths, such as material rewards, comfort and security, aim at meeting higher needs, such as self-fulfillment.
Therefore, the possibility of developing new skills or putting into practice all the knowledge they acquired in leadership roles, that actually make a difference in people development, may represent the dream of any talented professional.
Better and better results
As in all other sectors involving people, development possibilities are endless. The limit for results attained by a company is the individual and collective capacity of its members.
Investing in people development is a constant task, however, once it is attained, there is no limit for success. Intelligence generates intelligence, i.e., work becomes more complex and starts reaching higher levels of sophistication. A sales team, for example, may work with goals, but the more it overcomes those goals, the more they grow.
Organizations exist to meet goals which, individually, one person would not be able to meet. Thus, its mission includes overcoming limits. People development, on the other hand, is the maximal representation of that mission within the corporate context.
Therefore, companies that believe in their employees’ potential are those that are able to transmit to their customers the concern about becoming better and better, offering products and services using the most from their effort and potential.
Having out of the ordinary results requires investment beyond standards. That means investing in the main ingredient in your business: people. The success of a business goes hand in hand with team success.