The firm had been offering modelling of telecommunications systems. It had the necessary software tools. and a well-trained, experienced workforce. But the market was changing. New questions needed huge additional skills – skills in building massively more complex methods. Here's how those skills were achieved.
Performance appraisals have come in for some serious criticism recently. And yet the books and articles written which criticise simply advocate performance appraisal by another name – or rather a collection of names. Here's an analysis of the issues.
Commitment matters. If managers can get all staff to be committed, other management and leadership activities become possible. Without committed staff, there’s little the manager can do to achieve goals and the firm will just drift. This paper describes commitment and outlines research that shows what managers can do to achieve commitment. The research shows that there is correlation between the idiosyncratic granting of developmental opportunities and affective commitment in those benefitting.
Staff development is the act of persuading a member of staff to change – to change their skills, knowledge or behaviours – towards that wanted. That persuasion comes by way of training, mentoring or coaching. Staff have existing competencies and behaviours. The difference between what’s needed and what’s available today is what any development must focus on.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Called to the ministry” describing how someone became a priest or vicar. But it extends further. Many say that they knew from a young age just what job they wanted to do. Once in work, many people comment that they feel so motivated by the job they do that they’d do it even if they weren’t paid. Calling extends to many careers. So how does a calling come about and how do hiring managers attract those with a calling?
Whilst the argument in favour of developing staff is strong, it’s not universally accepted. As this article shows, the argument rests on the various costs and benefits and ultimately on the ability of staff to ‘make the grade’. Both sides of the argument must be considered. To understand what’s needed in your own firm, you need to be able to determine market need for skills and knowledge in each job and jobholder and from the need, determine the capability you’ll put in place. Then plan and execute.