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The PeopleCap Playbook

Timely insights and actionable people strategies for leaders.

Talent Development: Let GPS Be Your Guide

map marker on a folding map

You’ve heard the argument for talent development and you’re committed to making it a priority. But where do you begin? How do you effectively grow and develop your people?

The leader’s job is to elevate talent whether you’re the CEO or a line supervisor. As the leader, your role is to set the direction, encourage progress and hold people accountable. You are the coach, working with your team members to define mutually beneficial goals, keeping them energized and focused on doing the work and making sure they show continued progress.

Okay, so you’re a coach – got it (effective coaching is another blog post coming soon). What are the tools you have as a coach to move them towards their goals?

My advice: focus on 3 things we call the GPS model for talent development.

Grow influence and network

  • Influence is a powerful motivator for people who desire to advance in their career and a great lever to help deepen their commitment to stay at your organization (even though you might not have an opportunity to promote them). It is also an important tool for developing future leaders. And it’s an effective way to create a positive brand for the individual who will boost both her career and the company’s overall talent brand. Consider how you can help your team member grow her degree of influence within your team and organization. Can she lead a meeting? Can she participate in or lead a special project? Can she present to the executive team or board?
  • Research has proven that a strong network is essential for an individual’s career growth as well as any organization’s business development and brand awareness. It is beneficial to the organization and your team member to expose her to more people and help her grow her network. Invite her to meetings and events. Introduce her to influencers. Send her to represent the organization at conferences. Recommend her for a committee where she may be the most junior to serve.

Provide opportunities

  • Growth and development is really about opportunity: the opportunity to put yourself out there, try new things, learn and explore. Identify those tasks and projects on your own or your team’s to do list that keep getting placed on the back burner – those are often terrific opportunities for your team member who wants to take on more or learn something new. Take a few minutes each month to identify the tasks or projects you could delegate and think about who could benefit from taking it on, not as another “duty as assigned” but as a growth opportunity. 

Stretch skills & knowledge

  • No one grows without stretching. What additional skills and knowledge would benefit your team? What skills and knowledge would benefit the individual team member you’re looking to develop? Depending on the identified skills and knowledge, a formal learning setting may be most effective or less formal on-the-job training may be best. Talk with each team member about what she would like to learn and establish an individual learning plan. 

Talent development has been identified by CEO’s across sectors as a top priority. So, dust off your GPS, work with your team members to set a direction for each individual and start growing, providing and stretching.

If you’d like help creating a talent development plan for your organization, contact us. We can get you to your destination.