Job and Career Development in the Driver’s Seat

Performance management’s lesser half has always been job and career development. In the past, organizations often tried to either include development in the performance management process or at the very least ensured there was a direct link from performance management to development.  However, development was still usually done separately from managing performance. It was more of an afterthought of the performance management process.

However, companies are now realizing they need to put more skin in the game when it comes to development. The time for leaders to step up and coach employees is now.

Managers and organizations must get in front of development and guide employees to develop in their skills and job.  This has become critical to employee performance and the world of performance management. Now more than ever, leaders must have thoughtful plans for developing employees and preparing them for what’s coming next.

Organizations previously tracked the completion of performance appraisals but not any metrics associated with job and career development meetings. Companies would encourage managers to set up separate meetings to discuss career or job development. These separate meetings were to ensure that performance management was not confused with development. Employees were told to own their career development and the manager’s role was to support them. It was essentially the employees’ responsibility to drive their own development.

Organizations are now investing in new tools, processes and programs to reposition development and ensure managers are capable of being in the driver’s seat. Maria Van Parys, vice president of talent management at Liberty Mutual said,

“Development planning is gaining recognition as a critical business process because of its role, not only in helping to improve an employee’s current performance on the job, but also to improve leadership quality and prepare current leaders for future general management roles. Manager involvement is key to help ensure individual plans are well targeted to its business purpose (performance improvement, leadership development, succession planning). Ideally, managers and employees work together to ensure the plan serves both the employee’s interests and the company’s needs.”

Managers can no longer take a back seat when it comes to development….driving development is key to driving future business success.



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