Integrate Growth and Development Into Your Working Routine
April 27, 2020
Collaborate on Goals

Effectively driving growth and development requires integrating it into your regular working routine. The more it’s considered “it’s own separate thing”, the less likely it’ll get the regular attention it needs and deserves. Fortunately, making it part of your routine isn’t as hard or time intensive as it seems.

We like to break this process down into three parts:

  1. Kickoff: Introduce this concept to your team, and have a real conversation about growth.

  2. Checking in: Build a regular cadence of check-ins on growth and development.

  3. Ongoing support: Lightweight touches in between check-ins to keep everything running smoothly.

Kickoff

Kicking off your growth and development process consists of three steps:

  1. Ask your team to prepare

  2. Invite them to Nodabl

  3. 1-1 Growth Conversation

Ask your team to prepare

Start by telling your team you’re implementing a more structured process to help them with their career growth and professional development. You can do this by email, in team meetings, your weekly 1-1s - however your team disseminates information.

Ask them to think about their career and development goals. Depending on your company’s internal processes, they should look at their most recent review, other feedback you’ve given them, and your company’s career ladder. They should also think about their own personal career goals. If you already set career and development goals, then you’re all set (and ahead of the game).

For new hires and new team members, make this a part of your onboarding process.

Invite your team to Nodabl

Invite each of your team members to Nodabl via the Collaborators screen. This will send them an email invitation to sign up to Nodabl as one of your Collaborators.

If your team already has explicit career and development goals (e.g. your company has a personal OKR process), ask them to set goals in Nodabl and to give you access to them. You can also ask them to take a first pass at setting up an action plan for each of their goals.

Some people on your team may want to have their 1-1 conversation with you prior to setting anything up in Nodabl. This is often the case in organizations where there is no established practice of setting personal development goals, reviews are perfunctory or non-existent, and with people who are new to roles or to the idea of setting personal goals.

1-1 Growth Conversation

Have a 1-1 dedicated to career growth and development with each of your team members. The agenda for this meeting is to discuss their goals, help them refine their goals, align on success metrics, and review their action plans.

Make sure that part of your conversation addresses their mid to long term goals - where they want to end up in several years. The specific skills, competencies, experiences, and behaviors that they are working on in the near-term should connect back to their longer term goals.

Coming out of this meeting they should have goals and action plans set up in Nodabl. You should also set the expectation that they are going to own this process. They need to execute on their action plan and they need to keep Nodabl up to date. Your job is to facilitate the process, give them space and the opportunities they need, and provide regular and ongoing feedback. Ultimately, it is their job to do the work.

Checking In

Now that you’ve kicked this off, the next step is to build regular check-ins into your regular working rhythm. If you do regular 1-1s with your team, then we suggest integrating growth and development into those. A quick look at Nodabl will tell you if they are on track or not, and you can also discuss issues, blockers, next steps as needed (the same as you do for work projects and business deliverables).

You should also schedule a regular dedicated conversation about growth and development (similar to how you had a more in-depth conversation for the kickoff). If you’re doing regular 1-1s, then this can be less frequent. Every 3 months is a good cadence for this (unless you don’t do 1-1s, then you might want to do this more frequently).

If your company does reviews, then time the 3 month check-in to line up with your review cycle. One should be after reviews end, so you can plan around the feedback from the review, and then plan 3 months after that.

Another approach is to align with business cycles (e.g. your quarterly business planning process).

Ongoing Support

In between regular check-ins you should provide ongoing support as needed. Ideally this is being pulled from you vs you pushing. If they have a quick question, run into a blocker, or want some quick feedback, they shouldn’t necessarily wait for a check-in meeting to discuss. The Comments and Feedback features of Nodabl make this easy - it’s asynchronous, always in context, and documentation is automatically created for you.

Summary

The key to driving consistent growth and development is to build it into your regular working cadence. The less you think about it as “its own separate thing”, and the more it’s woven into your day to day, the easier, and more effective you will be at facilitating growth for your team.

Empower your team to own their own growth and development and support them as their coach, giving advice, support, encouragement, and guidance.

Written by
Vikas Gupta

Vikas is the founder of Nodabl. He started his career in management consulting at McKinsey & Company. When he left and joined the operating world, he was shocked at the difference in the way he experienced development and growth at McKinsey versus industry. This difference became even more apparent when he started managing a team for the first time. He was challenged with both developing himself as a leader and fostering growth in his team. Since then he's been thinking about how to improve the growth experience and enabling every person to be their professional best.

Vikas Gupta headshot

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