The development of an employee beyond the scope of the job responsibilities provides growth not only for the employee but the organization as well. “Development prepares them for other positions in the company and increases their ability to move into jobs that may not yet exist” (Noe, 2013). Is the responsibility to develop on the organization or the employee? Both! Employees need to understand how to turn deficiencies into strengths through self-assessment, setting goals, and then putting a plan in place to achieve those goals, but the organization also needs to assist the employee through measures like Employee Development programs. Personal development in the workplace can be gained through formal education, experience gained on the job, relationships, and assessment of personality and skills (Noe, 2013).
Formal education includes both “off-site and on-site programs designed specifically for the company’s employees, short courses offered by consultants or universities, executive MBA programs, and university programs” (Noe, 2013). Most formal education is conducted in-house where the organization is responsible for development program. Formal education can also be achieved through short, intensified courses offered by consultants or universities. When employees prefer to gain formal education outside of the organization, some organizations look to offer Tuition Assistance (TA) to the employee for both enhanced employee capability and improving employee retention. To take advantage of my organization’s offering of approved TA, I have enrolled in a Master’s of Science degree and am pursuing a Green Belt Six Sigma certification. After completing both the degree and the certification, my organization is capable of being highly competitive to acquire new contracts due more professionally developed employees.
In order to gain more skills and knowledge in other areas outside of my current skillset would be to gain experience while on the job. A major factor in gaining experience is the ability to quickly pick up and apply new information. “To succeed in their jobs, employees must stretch their skills – that is, they are forced to learn new skills, apply their skills and knowledge in a new way, and master new experiences” (Noe, 2103). In order to gain job experience, I have presented an action plan to my employer that outlines benefits to the organization and me on how cross-training with other departments will build organizational strength.
“Employees can also develop skills and increase their knowledge about the company and its customers by interacting with a more experienced organization member” (Noe, 2013). There are two ways employees can build relationships and strengthen organization performance: mentoring and coaching. During my onboarding process with my current organization, I asked for a mentor to be assigned to me to assist in understanding all the specifics of our contract and to understand processes within each department. The mentor I was assigned has a wealth of knowledge and was picked due to his experience and performance within the organization. Unfortunately, my mentor knew his job very well and how to navigate through the departments, but did not interpret that information to me very well because he did not know how to communicate.
Assessments are conducted to identify employee potential in different areas: managerial potential or just employee potential to thrive and benefit the organization by working in different jobs. Assessments are conducted through surveys, questionnaires, knowledge tests, and observations. When I approached my organization’s management about development plans, they asked me questions regarding the areas I wanted to gain knowledge on. The intent was to ascertain if I had any knowledge in those areas to be able to assist me with making short and long term goals.
Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Pace, A. (2010). Unleashing positivity in the workplace. T+D, 64(1), 40-44.