How to Improve Your Team Skills With no Need to Stop Working
Learning is a natural process. We learn all our lives: we learn new technologies and skills, we learn how to ride a bike or cook exotic food. And, of course, we develop at work. Employees learn new information and pump up their skills throughout the day the same way 22Bet bettors learn more about sports daily. They watch what colleagues do, learn new approaches and tools, and share experiences in meetings.
The best way to develop useful skills in employees is to let them learn on the job. Employees will understand what and why they are learning, and more importantly, how it will help them perform their duties more effectively. But how do you organize such training?
One option is to use developmental tasks. They are not anything special in and of themselves: they are often work tasks that employees already do. For a task to become a developmental one, treat it as a developmental task. In other words, you have to help employees realize that you can develop every day – not necessarily at training sessions.
Goal-setting, the support of the supervisor in the process, and reflection are the main things that will benefit and pump up the competence.
First and Foremost, the Goal
The first step is to understand what competence the employee needs to develop and why.
The first thing to do is to assess the current situation: what tasks the employee has at the moment, what competencies are a priority in his/her work, how developed they are. To obtain an objective picture, use the results of various assessments, diagnostic and assessment procedures, the strategic goals of the company or the department, and the employee’s KPIs.
Together with the employee gather information and discuss the situation at a separate meeting. Don’t forget to point out the employee’s strengths and praise him or her. Then highlight one or two key competencies that need to be worked on. Choose the ones that are of interest to the employee himself and that will help him perform his tasks more effectively.
Then, within the competency, identify specific points where the employee has low grades or negative feedback. Given the information gathered, try to document with the employee: what prevents him or her from doing the job more effectively, how does it manifest itself, and what affects it?
Finally, for the selected competencies, describe the desired result: formulate the target state and indicators to determine that the goal is achieved. This step will not only help to synchronize with the employee on the image of the result, but will additionally inspire and motivate him.
How to Determine What Will Help Achieve the Goal
So, we have an image of the result. How to choose a developing task that will help to achieve it?
We need to determine what the “gap” really is between the current and desired level of competency development. Julie Dirksen identifies several such planes:
- Knowledge. The employee lacks information. Once it’s available, the employee is successful.
- Skills. The employee has the knowledge and the right conditions to perform the task, the only thing missing is experience and accumulated skill.
- Habits. The knowledge and skills are there, but the process is not yet built into the employee’s routine.
- Communications. The task may not have been set quite correctly by the supervisor.
- Motivation. The employee knows what needs to be done and how to do it, but doesn’t want to.
- The work environment. For example, the employee does not have access to the right program or space to complete the task.
Go back together with the employee to the analysis you did in the previous step. Try to figure out: what is really the main difficulty?
Also, think about whether the problems are really related to the work environment or communication. In such cases, the solution is probably not to train and develop the competencies of the team.
Try to keep the employee on track with the task, remind them of its importance and deadlines, and adjust the task if necessary.
Plan and conduct at least one interim meeting or asynchronous reconciliation with the employee. Make sure you do this: this way you can discuss potential difficulties and show the employee that it’s important for you as the manager to see progress.
At such a meeting, you can ask the employee:
- Tell me what you’ve accomplished so far. What has been successful? What were the challenges?
- Do you see any changes in your work by completing the task?
- Do you need help and from whom?
To complete the cycle, check the quality of the task, provide the employee with developmental feedback, and conduct a final reflection. Use the following algorithm:
- Review the employee’s task completion report before the final meeting.
- At the meeting, ask the employee to tell you how he or she performed the task and how he or she now evaluates the result.
- Provide feedback. We recommend first noting what was done well, and then giving constructive criticism.
- If necessary, ask the employee to refine the task and check the results again.
- At the end of the meeting record with the employee how he/she will further develop the chosen competence and maintain the result.
What Is the Right Way to Give Feedback?
For feedback to be useful, it must be welcoming, reasonable, specific, and constructive.
- Try to avoid sarcastic criticism. Show the employee that you do not wish him or her harm, but rather that you want to help him or her become a better person.
- Provide arguments. When giving feedback, your judgments should be sound and based on facts.
- Talk about specific tasks and approaches, not about the job as a whole. This makes it easier for both you and the employee to find the problem and fix it.
- Remember: your goal is to help the employee do a better job. Discuss with him what he can do to do this and what resources he will need.
Return to discussing progress on competencies when the next cycle of appraisal has passed.