Efficient and result-creating employee development is more important than ever before.
Vibeke Skytte, director of HR and administration at the Trade Union Leaders, has written, for example, that employee development should be at the top of the leaders' to-do list. And studies show that companies that invest in employee development can expect higher revenue per employee of up to several hundred percent.
Why is employee development particularly important to your management style right now?
According to management consultant and executive coach Mette Vesterager, we need to find the answer in the variability in and around the business world.
“The time and world we live in is unusual because the changes are happening so fast and with such great force. For the manager, this means in concrete terms that the competencies that must be used to solve a task today will not necessarily apply in a year. The ability to develop employees is therefore a crucial component in your management style, ”says Mette Vesterager.
She knows to that extent what she is talking about. In addition to advising large organizations and companies - for example the University of Copenhagen and HK - Mette Vesterager has written books on management. Among other things, “Existential Leadership - A Guide to Personal Leadership” (2017).
The book received five stars from Jyllands-Posten and was named one of the best business books of the year.
We have sat down with Mette Vesterager to become wiser about employee development: How can you as a manager implement effective and result-creating employee development in your management style?
Do’s and don’ts you can take by learning from right away. We start with the last:
What are three things your leadership style should be clinically cleansed of if you are to drive effective and result-creating employee development in your organization?
According to Mette Vesterager, there are three areas in particular that you need to be aware of:
The primary mistake when managers fail in employee development is about power. Leaders are not aware enough of the power they have and are therefore going to abuse it. Often without even being aware of it.
The managers are going to put some pressure on the employees, which can have a cross - border effect. Often without the leaders themselves experiencing the situation that way. It can, for example, be at a seminar or at a workshop. The employee must suddenly exceed his or her own limits as part of an exercise. Maybe the employee needs to extradite himself or criticize his colleagues.
It can also be new tasks or working methods that the employee experiences as cross-border.
The call from Mette Vesterager is quite clear: As a manager, you must be very careful about pushing your employees into something they may experience as cross-border. This is not the way forward to value-creating employee development in an organization.
To facilitate employee development, some managers are beginning to involve employees' privacy. The intention is probably good enough. It's just a misconception that your leadership style should include private matters.
The development does not only have to be professional, but can easily also be personal development in relation to forms of communication and collaboration. But the private sector is a no-go.
When your relationship is largely based solely on work, it's not a good idea to suddenly have to talk about privacy and personal matters. Conversation with his manager hardly constitutes a confidential space from the employee's perspective - although of course there may be exceptions.
As a manager, you can consider whether you can make use of an external partner to handle the more personal part of employee development and be the employee's confidential sparring partner.
Employee development arises in an interplay between two quite different variables: the professional on the one hand and the psychological on the other.
As a leader, you have lots of knowledge about the professional aspects. You can lift the professional development. Do you also have sufficient insight to understand the psychological mechanisms at play?
“To become a good leader, it is important that you enjoy working with people and understanding the more psychological aspects of human development. Employee development today often takes place on the basis of outdated understandings of the human being ”, says Mette Vesterager.
How can the manager strengthen his ability to drive employee development?
Mette Vesterager highlights one key concept in particular: needs separation. The ability to know the difference between whether development stems from the employee's needs or the manager's needs or the company's needs.
Employees may be required to perform their work in a new way. Learn new working methods or systems for example. Develop for the sake of the company. There's nothing wrong with that. But it's unfortunate if the company does not recognize what is going on.
“Today, we often see that companies want employees to be passionate about development, when in reality it is the company's needs that are at stake. It's okay for employees to evolve to help the company. But if development for the sake of the company is presented as if it is about the needs of the employee, when in reality it is about the needs of the company, it becomes manipulative. You must be able to meet the goals of the requirements you set as a company, and at the same time be responsive to the needs and wishes of the employees, ” says Mette Vesterager.
Mette Vesterager instead calls for employee development based on cooperation and recognition. The manager must acknowledge not having the definitive truths about what the employee is for a size. Neither professionally nor psychologically.
The manager must understand that the employee probably has his or her own perspective on what development entails. And that perspective is not necessarily what the leader expects.
Manager and employee must go to employee development as a joint project. And refrain from quickfix. For example, personality tests.
“With personality tests and the like, employees are sometimes categorized in a way they do not recognize at all. It is far too simplistic and banal to deal with people's complex psychology in that way. And thus rarely demanding for any kind of employee development, ” says Mette Vesterager.
Seen from her chair, it is something completely different that creates efficient and result-creating employee development:
"Employee development must be a co-creation project between the manager and the employee, where you listen to each other's perspectives and needs," states Mette Vesterager.
To become more skilled at employee motivation, we have teamed up with two of the country's leading occupational psychologists. We have given them a very simple task: Tell about your most effective management tools to create employee motivation in his organization.
You get concrete tools and tools for your work with employee motivation