How to Encourage Further Employee Development

As part of the appraisal meeting, supervisors should identify areas for improvement and, together with their employees, build a set of workable performance development activities. To prepare, supervisors should take time prior to the meeting to create a concise, one-page list of potential developmental activities for the employee. The list can include

  • Recommended readings, both current and ongoing, devoted to the topics where development is suggested

  • Possible classroom or online courses

  • People within the company who may offer useful input (“John became a supervisor last year, so you can talk with him about the challenges of managing people.”)

  • Potential on-the-job experiences to help develop skills in an area that has a gap or needs to be more fully developed to move to the next level

Employee development isn’t just for underperformers, of course. Even the very best employees have room to improve and further develop themselves. For any professional, appraisal time is the ideal opportunity to look back, as well as constructively plan for the future.

Performance development activities are a way to help employees better achieve the job objectives set at the start of the appraisal period. As a result, the employee and manager should revisit these objectives during this phase of the appraisal meeting to ensure that they’re still on target.

Many companies require an annual goal-setting meeting. The appraisal meeting may be a good time to tackle that task. You certainly don’t want to establish developmental activities around goals that will soon be changing.

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