Today’s employees want personalized career plans that fits their goals, dreams, and lifestyle. They expect their individual leaders to show interest in their career and coach them on how to reach their potential. Leaders know all this. They actually want these career-development opportunities for themselves.
But wait. We’re not talking “training” here—as in designing training courses and sending staffers off the job. Who has time to wait for them to return and play “catch up” for days or weeks? Strategic thinkers often do things differently today. Consider any one or several of these “mentoring moments”:
Mentoring Moment #2: Touch base periodically about their interests for future assignments and career growth. Has anything changed in their immediate and long-term goals? Any new skills gained? New stretch assignments they’d like to tackle? Hobbies become career aspirations. Career aspirations fade to become only hobby interests. Income and savings goals evolve as family situations change. Their health or a family member’s health may necessitate lifestyle and career choices. Staying updated on their current needs and goals demonstrates interest.
Later, reinforce their personal accountability every chance you get. Ask if they found any of the resources you’ve mentioned helpful. What did they like or not like? Did they find another book, course, podcast, blog, or app more useful?
All of these opportunities demonstrate interest in career development for the team and for individuals. And such casual discussions accomplish several additional purposes: They keep you up to date on changes in employee goals, reinforce that team members themselves own the responsibility for their personal development, and give them opportunity to get a mentoring moment from more experienced group members. And you, as leader, have facilitated that learning.