Investing time and energy to coach and develop the skills of other staff
What is it?
Staff Development is the practice of seeing the potential in others and then providing individuals with feedback and resources to help them realize that potential. This effort can include providing continued education to staff, promoting the professional development of employees, or coaching less-experienced employees toward achievement of a long-term career plan.
Why is it important?
The future of any organization is tied to the development of its employees. Thus, one of the main responsibilities of every supervisor is to train the constantly maturing and improving workforce. This practice not only helps the organization, it also gives a manager the opportunity to pass on his or her wisdom and experience, helping individuals in the process. Physicians and nurses often learn through experience and practice, which makes this “passing” of information and knowledge even more valuable.
- Give Regular Feedback
First, give feedback to your team on a regular basis. Research suggests that leaders and supervisors need to give concrete feedback to each of their direct reports on a weekly basis. This can come in the form of a passing comment in the hallway, an email recap of the week, or a deliberate meeting in which you offer performance observations. Comments such as “I think you did a great job communicating the results to the patient in a clear and concise manner. It seemed as though you were confident and backed up your information with facts. Nice job.” can go a long way in reinforcing positive behavior and recognizing hard work.
- Help Others Create a Career Plan
Second, sit down with your direct reports to talk about their career aspirations, dreams, and goals. Supervisors who ask employees where they want to be in five years and who commit to helping employees get there are an important ally. For example, if an employee doesn’t currently have enough technical experience to reach their goal, you could provide them with a training sessions to strengthen their professional skills in this areal. You are the right position to help them reach their careers goals and will have valuable advice for their advancement. Investing in the careers of others is also a great opportunity to facilitate potential leadership growth.
- Share Your Own Successes and Failures
Finally, team members, direct reports, and others under leadership can learn valuable lessons from their leader’s successes and failures – provided that the leader is willing to share them.
Employees need to see their supervisor’s human side and hear about their war stories. Factual anecdotes can be a powerful source of information and guidance. Candid openness about your career path will not only provide practical career advice, it will also strengthen your relationships.