Executives play a powerful role in people development because virtually every decision has development implications. The strategic planning process, budgets, organization structure, promotion and career pathing practices, company policies, management systems, management style all of these business terms bring to mind the value of human resources, while setting the boundaries and tone for employee growth and development.
In most organizations these boundaries need to be carefully reexamined for their effects on productivity, satisfaction and development. Executives who do not respond to this challenge risk losing their best people and stifling the creativity and commitment that make organizations great. For very practical reasons, new human resources management and development practices are needed in most organizations:
• There is growing evidence that people are more productive in healthy, relatively open work climates than under closed, autocratic conditions.
• Knowledge workers (people whose major contributions to the organization are their problem-solving and creative capabilities) are growing in numbers in the work force. These people require new, more collaborative approaches to goal setting, measurement, work environment structuring, development and career management.
• As the value of high-talent knowledge workers increases, they are increasingly difficult to retain. The most competent look for environments where they can contribute, grow and be recognized. Faced with poor management and the inability to develop and have impact, company loyalty wanes for these people.
• Change technological, social, economic, regulatory, intellectual continues to require new work force skills. Organizations in which devel¬opment and career path movement are ongoing, visible, normal events will weather radical shifts in skills requirements better than those where change continually sneaks in the back door.
• Most everyone is aware of these shifts, yet in the absence of a full¬ blown crisis, few organizations have changed more than their rhetoric about developing their human re¬sources and managing change.
On the one hand, this is understandable. Short-term pressures in today’s organizations exert a powerful pull on resources and management attention. On the other hand, longer range organizational productivity, individual satisfaction and creativity, as well as the attraction and retention of key people require that change must occur.
The immediate challenge is to begin the major shift from rhetoric to action and to do so in a way which simultaneously develops people and the organization. Executives play key roles during this important transition. I’d like to recommend eight actions which executives can take now, with relatively little risk to short-term results, and with potentially high payoff in the long run.
By : Patricia Lagan. Training Magazine.