Recently I attended a session at a conference about feedback. I was looking forward to hearing material about feedback-related issues such as 360 assessment, the neuroscience associated with feedback, and examples of companies that have created a “feedback culture.” While these subjects were briefly mentioned, it didn’t take long for the audience Q&A to turn the discussion into a plea for help with performance management.
If you work on your company’s succession planning program, raise your hand if any of the following statements sound familiar:
“Our leaders are engaged in the succession planning process but not so much in the development planning that follows.”
“The development plans of individuals in the succession plan are pretty weak.”
“Leaders have a hard time identifying the development needs of their successors because they think they’re so skilled at everything they don’t need further development.”
Well it’s about the end of the quarter. Time to check in on your goals. And don’t forget about your development plan. Do you even know where it is?
A quarterly check-in may sound stressful if your behind on your development plan or even your goals, but it will only get worse if you don’t do it. Everyone falls behind at some point. The good news is checking in regularly provides you opportunity to review your progress, assess your obstacles, and take action to get back on track.
After searching far and wide, or perhaps by asking HR or a colleague for help, you’ve obtained a development plan template because you realize it’s important for you to have your own development plan. You’re committed to work on your development and really looking forward to it. It’s all downhill from here.
Experiential learning, as you might guess, is learning by experience. Check out the wiki for more detail. It’s a great way to learn because it allows for application of newly acquired knowledge to real-world situations. Check out this recent ATD post for a few examples of how some companies have implemented impressive and robust experiential learning programs to develop their employees.
Recently I wrote about some great opportunities to ask for feedback. Hopefully reading that post gave you some ideas for upcoming opportunities you will have to ask for feedback. I don’t want to discourage you, but asking for feedback is only the first step in getting it. You can’t just put a survey out there and wait for the magic to happen. It’s unfortunate, but despite the increasing focus on feedback in organizations, some people are still uncomfortable giving it.
If you’ve ever worked in a mid-size or large organization, you’ve probably had at least one individual development plan (IDP). If you work in HR, you may have dealt with many IDPs – those of your company’s employees. In either case, there is a dirty little secret about the IDP that you are likely familiar with.
If you’re lucky enough to have a culture of self-driven development, employees at any level should be able to solicit feedback on a regular basis from their coworkers. This is growing more common as companies are moving away from the annual performance appraisal exercise and seeking ways for employees to receive more frequent, meaningful feedback, As with anything, some times are better than others to do so. This means HR organizations and employees themselves need to identify who, when, and under what circumstances feedback should be solicited.
We dog owners sure do love our fur children. So much so that we tend to let them do whatever they want. Let them enjoy their life! Many people have told me their dog is in charge in the house rather than the humans. I used to be in that camp as well until my two dogs started fighting with each other. But, after watching many episodes of Dog Whisperer and visiting a local professional, I now prevent fights by coaching them to behave how I want them to behave. Believe it or not, a similar model can be applied to coaching employees.
The topic of feedback is all the rage right now. Just last week I found this article from the NY Times and this podast from HBR. And there’s plenty of great content written prior to these posts, so you really don’t need me to regurgitate it to you. In fact, the topic of feedback has been so hot lately I’m going to take a small leap and presume you don’t need to be convinced that it’s a necessity. I’ll even go so far as to say you are a feedback advocate! If not, review the material linked above, search for more if you need more convincing, and return to this post when you’ve come to your senses.