Employee development – manager or employee responsibility?


Employee development – manager or employee responsibility? - 2020 - Wattsnext Group

One of the most common attributes of a great workplace is the opportunity for employees to access and engage in training and development.

Almost every engagement survey we conduct, employees deliver a wish list when asked what further training and development opportunities would they like to engage in.

It’s the general understanding now that training and development is important in businesses. My question is – who should ultimately be responsible for driving employee development in organisations?

My focus recently when it comes to increasing people performance within businesses is shifting the focus from manager driven development plans to be more about the employee taking ownership for their own career and development.

Now it might not be as easy as it sounds and it can be a transition process, but there are a few easy steps you can take to move in the right direction:

  • Frame questions around training and development in performance conversations so that employees suggest their own areas for development and strategies they can think of as to how to improve this;
  • Have employees set monthly goal tracking meetings and have some form of structure or document that allows employees to give updates on what they have been able to achieve with their development goals;
  • Encourage internal continued professional development and have employees run their own training and share their learnings.

Of course, the leaders of the business need to be willing to support the employees along the way to keep the conversations going. But at the end of the day, businesses who allow employees who take true ownership of their career and development (and are given the opportunity to do so) will reap the benefits.



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Wattsnext Group is a compilation of ideas and expertise from the entire team, past and present with a few added gems from guest authors from time to time. With this collaborative approach, you'll get a broader perspective and high-level of expertise across the HR landscape


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