Do you know what your direct reports want out of their careers?
Leadership & development expert Steph Wong makes the case that it is your job as a manager to know.
Steph shares with us the approaches and tools she uses to guide people in developing their careers, and how meaningful career conversations can help your team do their best work – at their current jobs, and beyond.
Why it matters
As managers, we have a tremendous amount of potential influence on our direct reports' careers – not just within your current organization, but also wherever they may go in the future (and yes, someday they will leave!). We have a reponsibility to wield this influence with care and buy-in, and if we do it well it will bring out the best in them in their current jobs as well.
Putting it into action
1. Care about your direct reports as humans, not just employees
In order to have meaningful, honest, and open conversations about career development, your direct reports have to feel that you genuinely care about them and are interested in their lives – this can't be faked!
You have to build a rapport and trust with them and this takes self-awareness on your part. The ways you communicate with them – how you hold conversations, how you ask questions, your gestures, etc. – all feed into how rapport and trust is built.
2. Help your direct reports build self awareness to ultimately figure out what they want in their careers.
“What do you want to do with your career?” can be daunting for many.
Try these exercises and frameworks to help you and your direct report to together identify themes in what motivates and energizes them at work as a starting point to more thoughtfully plan their careers.
(Most of these exercises are from the book Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. For more information, visit: https://designingyour.life).
3. Design experiences for your direct report that gives them joy
After you've worked with a team member to identify what energizes, engages, and motivates them — and what doesn't — tailor their work and responsibilites to better match their strengths and interests. They'll get more satisfaction and growth out of work, and you'll have a happier team that is able to do their best work.