Development planning is one of those phrases that comes up often in business journals and at conventions. Yet, how often do you hear someone actually explain how their development planning directly correlates to employee learning strategies, as opposed to just a piecemeal attempt to groom the right candidate for a specific role? The fact is, development planning and learning are crucial components of the recruitment process, appealing to employee aspirations, and measuring potential—the trick is leveraging learning and planning in a way that makes sense for the ever-changing needs of your organization and your people.
Potential vs. Readiness
According to The Readiness Linchpin, “the problem is a failure to understand the distinction between potential and readiness…both look ahead to the future, but with very different time frames.” An employee’s potential can be measured over the course of a few years—or even an entire career—depending on the role being prepared for. Readiness, on the other hand, is focused on the immediate future, how ready an employee is to take the next step over a period of days, weeks, or months.
Measuring Potential and Readiness
Development planning isn’t just about grooming the next team of executives, it provides an opportunity to meet and solve organizational goals from within. Proper measurement of potential should value both the expectations you have for an employee and the fluid needs of your organization. This is how readiness becomes a measure of a succession plan and potential can be aligned with your talent pipeline, allowing you to measure what can be sourced from within and what you need to focus on in the recruitment process.
Adding Value Through Engagement
Knowing what you expect from an employee isn’t just healthy for your organization, it can also allow the employee the opportunity to fine-tune their own skills to meet the changing needs around them. This is where aligning learning with business needs crosses over into potential and readiness evaluation. By identifying talent gaps and communicating them to your team, you’re allowing them to control their own opportunities, whether by participating in certification through external programs, leadership development, or skill-based training. Your employees want new opportunities, and by allowing them to see a clear path to them you’re that much more likely to retain key talent—and place it in the best position for organizational success with the skill you need.
Development planning doesn’t need to be the mystery that so many organizations make it out to be. Planning should involve the needs of your organization and your employees to maximize results, and it should allow you to clearly see the difference between an employee’s immediate readiness and potential. Best of all, it will allow you to align what you need with what an employee needs to advance their career, resulting in a more skilled employee who will be better able to solve the projected needs of your business.
Contact me to learn more about how SDI Clarity can help your organization better track learning opportunities and employee development, and to finally make your development planning reach its full potential.