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Are your employees engaged in their work?

Welcome to week 6 of my 3-month series called:

TAKE YOUR LEADERSHIP TO THE NEXT LEVEL: Learn the 3-pillars of leadership success.

In September, we are exploring pillar 2: Manage Your Team.

Today we are going to address the importance of developing your people.

I had an epiphany when I read Gallup’s Employee Engagement Survey results.

This study includes 2.7 million workers across the globe and identifies the 12 top drivers of employee engagement.

While reviewing this list, I realized that three of the twelve engagement drivers are related to development and growth:

  1. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  2. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
  3. This last year, I have had the opportunity to learn and grow at work.

The message is clear: for people to feel engaged at work, they need to be learning and growing. 

Here is another fact to consider. 

Employee engagementAccording to Gallup’s research, only 21% of employees are actively engaged in their work this year.*

This number is alarming.

Just think, if you have 10 people on your team, only 2 are actively engaged. The rest are coasting or disengaged!

So, what does this data mean for you?

Well, you have to invest the time to develop your people. 

Development is not a “nice to have” anymore. It is one of the keys to ensuring that your team is engaged. 

Many leaders have told me over the years, “But Vanessa, while I’d love to develop my team, I just don’t have the time!”

Sound familiar? 

If so, let me ask you this question. 

How will you feel one year from now if you are still overwhelmed by your workload and your team is still underskilled?

So, what can you do to begin developing your people properly?

Here is a list of 3 strategic ways that you can develop your team:

  1. Take baby steps. Development takes time. It is unrealistic to think that you can develop your people quickly. Instead, start by delegating one small piece of a project. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Follow up on that specific part of the project. Give lots of guidance and feedback until this specific task is done well. Then you can delegate the next piece of the project.
  2. Create quarterly development goals. Every quarter you should analyze your to-do list and identify all the tasks you need to delegate. Then, create a plan to delegate these tasks one at a time. Make a habit of returning to these development goals quarterly to assess your team’s progress and choose new development goals.
  3. Have development conversations with your people. While your employees should own their development, your job is to guide them in the right direction. You should initiate development conversations. You should also actively delegate to help them to grow. Take the time to have coaching conversations with your team about their career goals. Once you put these pieces in place, their job is to own their development and work hard to develop these new skills.

So, if you want to retain the people on your team, make it a priority to create a learning culture! 

The research tells us that people will leave your team if they feel stagnant or are no longer learning.

So, get ahead of the pack and prioritize development and growth! 



Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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