Meet with your employees often
Talking to your employees regularly is one of the best ways for you to learn about how they work and what their professional goals are. If you do not already, begin by planning to meet with your employee to discuss their current workload and future goals. These one-to-one meetings will give you a clear idea of their professional skills, and you can also use this opportunity to check if they are worried about any tasks and offer them support.
If there are areas where your employee needs support, you can recommend training to them or assign them a new responsibility to help grow their confidence. Each action you agree on should be written as an objective in their personal development plan.
Expand on their strengths
When discussing their personal development plan, be positive and encourage your employee to write about their strengths first. By asking them about the strongest areas of their work, you can provide more opportunities for them to take on greater responsibilities within them. This will help your team to become more specialised and skilled so that they can excel.
Use S.M.A.R.T. objectives
Set objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (S.M.A.R.T.) to allow your employees to set realistic goals and give them a clear place to begin. For example, if they have expressed an interest in management, an objective could be to consistently manage one small project over the next six months. S.M.A.R.T. objectives allow your employees to grow and develop – they could progress into management of another project, for example, or take on a mentor role for another colleague. In this way, you can encourage growth within your team’s skillset.
Focus on growth
Although S.M.A.R.T. objectives should be achievable, do encourage your employee to set goals that will push their abilities and allow progression in their careers. To do this, also identify and set objectives in areas that they have avoided mentioning in their ‘strengths’ section. This will present opportunities for your employees to become more skilled and confident in their roles.
Performance reviews are important
Performance reviews and personal development plans go hand in hand with your employees’ progression. When the performance review period arrives, take time to fill out the manager’s section of the forms carefully. You should focus on responding to employees’ comments point by point and review if they are correct, evidence, and within the remits of their job role. Additionally, focus on assessing if the objectives set in the previous review have been met. If they have, you can expand on them. If not, you should speak with your employee to see if there is any way you can support them to achieve them before their performance review.
Give them new opportunities
It is your responsibility to assign work to your employees. Therefore, if they have not met an objective in their personal development plan, they may not have had the opportunity to attempt the task. Discussions about workload are essential opportunities for your employees to share what they want to work on, so that they can progress.
Want more advice on supporting your employees’ professional growth? Read our article on ‘Ten things every good mentor should do’.
Find EURES Advisers
Living and working conditions in EURES countries
EURES Jobs Database
EURES services for employers
EURES Events Calendar
Upcoming Online Events
EURES on Facebook
EURES on Twitter
EURES on LinkedIn
- Publication date
- 31 August 2023
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- Business / EntrepreneurshipHints and tips
- Related section(s)
- Hints & tipsLearningLiving and Working
- Accomodation and food service activitiesActivities of extraterritorial organisations and bodiesActivities of households as employers, undifferentiated goods- and servicesAdministrative and support service activitiesAgriculture, forestry and fishingArts, entertainment and recreationConstructionEducationElectricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supplyFinancial and insurance activitiesHuman health and social work activitiesInformation and communicationManufacturingMining and quarryingOther service activitiesProfessional, scientific and technical activitiesPublic administration and defence; compulsory social securityReal estate activitiesTransportation and storageWater supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activitiesWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles