What does it mean when we talk about team development? To develop means to grow, or cause to grow and become more mature or advanced. Whether working with an individual or a team, you are aiming towards the same outcome as defined; creating growth, maturity, cohesiveness and potentially career advancement.
Team development is an important area to spend your time and invest in your people. Regardless of age, sex and/or generation, almost all people in the workforce cite growth and development amongst their top reasons for either staying or leaving a company. If you can invest in anything, investing time in your people is a good way to pay dividends now and into the future.
Here are three ways to facilitate development within your organization:
If you’re not actively listening to your team, you’ll never know what they’re looking for. Growth and development will not look the same for everyone and that’s perfectly normal. However, it is your job to foster discussions with your team members to understand what development means to them and in what areas of the business they want to develop their skill set. By actively listening, observing and reviewing your team, you can help guide the direction for their development and growth.
Be clear with your team that you’re here to support their development if that’s what they desire. Openly communicate with them during their one-on-one meetings, team meetings and reviews. Make sure you understand what their goals are and how you are dedicated to helping them reach those milestones and objectives along the way. Be open to how you approach each team member and the team collectively. If you’re listening well and communicating clearly, everyone should be aligned and set to achieve their goals and reach the next level of opportunity.
Having resources readily available through a learning management system or continuing education partner is valuable and should be accessible to employees at all levels. While it takes some financial investment to offer these services, according to Gallup, investing in your current employees will end up costing you less in the long run. Reports estimate that it can cost up to 1.5 times the amount to hire and train someone versus investing in your existing team. While those systems are useful, nothing is more valuable than the time and energy you give to your team. Ensure you invest the time now to see the desired outcomes you and your team(s) wish to achieve this year.
As a reminder, there are many ways you can develop an individual and/or a team. Developmental skills are not confined to only the specifications of the role or the next level. Development can take place across many facets of your business, including: professional, personal, conflict resolution, leadership skills and other soft skills.
Leaders should encourage the people around them to be even better than they are or were in that role. Use this approach with your team(s) and see where that can take your personal development and growth as well.