Evidence-based actions for growth and development

These actions and responses can be implemented with a minimal investment of resources or cost to the organization.

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Description: In a work environment with positive growth and development, employees receive ongoing encouragement and support to enhance interpersonal, emotional and job-related skills.

You can access our free workshop materials to engage your team in a discussion about low-cost or no-cost growth and development opportunities.

Adapted from “Build Learning into Your Employees’ Workflow,” by Bruce C. Rudy

Ensure information about internal and external opportunities for growth and development are accessible to all employees, whether they work in the office, in the field or from home. 

  • Offer opportunities for employees to develop job-related expertise by enhancing their skills. 
  • Help employees develop interpersonal and emotional skills with opportunities like: 
    • Job shadowing 
    • Job sharing 
    • Mentoring 
  • This article from University Affairs, A guide for running a job shadow program, gives valuable information to help you develop a job-shadowing program. 
  • Support the development of employees’ interpersonal and emotional competencies.
    • This will benefit both the individual and the organization by enhancing employees’ ability and capacity to: 
      • Manage emotions and relationships 
      • Solve challenging interpersonal problems  
  • Check out Building stronger teams for helpful activities.  
  • Offer a range of resources to enhance interpersonal and emotional competencies. An on-site library and employee intranet are good options. 

Create a way to analyze the training needs of each employee. 

  • Ensure this analysis balances organizational needs with the employee’s desires. 
    • Write out the essential duties of the position. 
    • Ask employees what additional training may be helpful. Ask them to include training they need to enhance their interpersonal and emotional growth and development.  
    • Consider the type of training needed, which may be: 
      • Theoretical 
      • Information only 
      • Experiential or hands-on 
      • Certificate or regulatory 
    • Explore options for this type of training and record the: 
      • Location 
      • Time required 
      • Costs 
      • Stated learning objectives 
    • Define what will change by using this training in your workplace: 
      • Behaviour 
      • Strategy 
      • Approach 
      • How you train others 
    • Define the intended outcome from this training and how you’ll measure success. 
    • Set up a date to review if more or different training is required. 
  • Most employees are interested in enhancing their training and development.  
  • Not all training costs money. Spending a half hour to take an online webinar, or time with a leader to review a process, can help employees feel more competent and capable.  

Embed learning into daily work

  • Use regular team meetings or huddles to share brief learning opportunities. 
  • This bite-sized learning can focus on tips or strategies related to communication skills, emotional intelligence, resilience, team interactions, new products, skills, or processes. They can come from the leader or from anyone else in the group who has something helpful to share.
  • Ask participants to discuss how they could use what they learned in the work. Encourage them to apply the learning and share how they did so with the rest of the team or just with the leader.
  • Encourage your team to get more involved by sharing what they’d like to learn about in the future, or have employees teach the team something new themselves. 

Support employee development by resolving past, current and potential work-related issues. 

Conduct regular and collaborative performance evaluations. They should include constructive feedback about interpersonal and emotional behaviour.  

  • Your organization’s policies could include engaging employees in a bi-annual discussion about their career goals and how supervisors can help in achieving them.  
  • Performance management is a process that focuses on solutions and employee success.  
  • Consider creating an individual development plan with employees, such as Individual development plan samples for busy managers

Additional actions and resources  

Putting growth and development on the agenda provides you with materials to support a team discussion on approaches to growth and development as well as materials to support policy review and development.

Adapted from Guarding Minds at Work™

© Samra, J., Gilbert, M., Shain, M., Bilsker, D. 2009-2020, with amendments by Stuart, H. 2022.  All rights reserved. Website development and data storage by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).

Guarding Minds at Work was commissioned by Canada Life and additional resources are supported by Workplace Strategies for Mental Health.

Contributors include.articlesDan BilskerDavid K. MacDonaldDr. Heather StuartDr. Joti SamraDr. Martin ShainMary Ann BayntonMerv GilbertPhilip PerczakSarah JennerSusan JakobsonWorkplace Safety and Prevention ServicesWorkplace Strategies team 2007-2021

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