Approaches/Methods of Employee Development

Employee development programmes t or methods need to be effectively implemented. Various methods of employee development are as follows:

On-the-job Methods

Various on-the-job methods include the following:

1. Coaching: In this method, the trainee is coached by a supervisor who instructs the trainee and imparts job-related knowledge to him.

2. Job Rotation: Job rotation is a method of development that is specifically used for managers to match the manager’s present skills and the skills which are necessary for the future job.

3. Understudy: This technique is a type of management modelling in which a present or prospective manager is assigned to work with a senior manager for a particular time duration.

An individual may undergo the process of understudy when the organisation aims to develop an individual for a higher managerial post.

For obtaining a broader base and perspective, understudies are rotated among various managers.

4. Mentoring: Mentor is defined as a wise and trusted guide or advisor. In an organisation, a senior manager acts as a mentor to a junior member of staff.

Thus, mentoring has a vital role in conveying knowledge and skills from a senior manager to a junior employee.

Such skill sets may include- technical know-how, relationship skills, tact and diplomacy. Mentoring is, therefore, important for the growth of both the management personnel and the organisation.

5. Committee Assignments: It is also referred to as the junior board or multiple management.

A junior board is a set-up to act as a shadow of the board of directors to enable young managers to get some insight into the intricacies involved in managing company insights about decision-making, strategy conceptualisation and policy formulation.

The junior board is aimed at grooming young and energetic managers for efficiently shouldering higher responsibilities in future, which also helps succession planning.

6. Planned Progression: It is a method used by organisations to give managers a clear picture of their way to growth and development.

Managers are made aware of their present status vis-a-vis their skills, knowledge and performance and also of a corresponding idea about the future.

A manager thereby knows the inputs that may be required for progress to the achievement of his goal.

For example, a Junior Engineer may have information about his progress path from his present position to becoming a Senior Engineer and then a Head of Department and finally a Works Manager.

It may be erroneously viewed by the progressing manager as a frictionless path to the top; however, actually, it is a stepwise approach that requires various tasks to be performed efficiently at every stage.

A negative point in this approach is that the employee’s attention on the next level may turn out to be a distraction for the present task, affecting his present performance.

7. Creation of “Assistant-to” Positions: Creating an “Assistant-to” position is often opted for in order to widen the outlook of a trainee by assigning him a position that enables him to assist and work closely with an experienced manager, who can then observe the trainee closely to determine his developmental needs.

The manager can assign specific jobs to the trainee with an aim to evaluate the trainee’s competency on the specific job, as well as his decision-making abilities.

This method can give better results if the manager is also an adept trainer, as he can develop skills of the trainee until the trainee becomes capable of shouldering managerial^ responsibilities. ”

8. Temporary Promotions: Many times, an individual is appointed as an “acting” manager in place of a manager who, e.g., maybe on leave or on an outstation duty or when a post has fallen. Temporary vacant promotion is a win-win situation for the organisation and the acting manager.

Organisation gets benefited as the managerial post is now being looked after and is no more empty, while in turn, the acting manager gets the benefit of experience and developmental opportunities.

Such a practical experience, in contrast to theoretical knowledge, can be extremely valuable for the acting managers because they get on-the-job training for a senior-position task.

However, if the acting manager is lacking the enthusiasm to learn or the skills to deliver results, neither the acting manager nor the organisation gets benefited.

Off-the-job Methods

Following are the off-the-job methods of management development:

1. Case Study: A case study is a very useful technique, particularly for developing an executive’s decision-making and analytical skills.v

2. Incident Method: Incident technique, devised by Paul Pigors, aims to develop the intellectual ability, practical judgement skills, and social awareness of managers.

Incidents are modelled on the basis of actual situations that had occurred in other organisations. In this I j technique, trainees are developed using a group process.

3. Role-Playing: Role-playing is a technique that helps the A executives to understand individuals better. This method enables trainees to learn from imaginary experiences that they get through role-playing.

4. In-Basket Technique: This method helps to develop organising, planning and problem-solving skills.

The in-basket technique places executives in real-life situations wherein they are asked to execute typical management activities and tasks which are required to be carried out on a daily basis, in the normal course of their job.

5. Business Games: This method helps to develop the organisational ability, quick thinking and responses, and leadership qualities.

6. Sensitivity Training: Sensitivity training aims to develop an executive’s ability to respond to effective changes in his interpersonal environment.

It includes sensitivity to emotional feelings of self and others. An important benefit desired is increased awareness in executives about their own behaviour and how others see their actions, better sensitivity to other’s behaviours, and a better understanding of various group processes.

7. Simulation: Simulation effectively helps to develop decision-making skills, which can be put to good use for solving problems in the shortest possible time.

8. Grid Training: The managerial grid, a six-phase technique, was conceptualised by R.R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton of the U.S.A.

It takes into account five principal managerial styles; these styles represent different combinations of the two attributes, viz., “concern for people” and “concern for production”.

This technique helps to develop the quality of leadership in executives over a long timeframe.

9. Conferences: Attitudes are deeply ingrained in a person’s psyche; hence it is difficult to bring about radical changes in attitudes.

This method develops an executive’s ability to modify his attitudes, as and when the need arises, for the benefit of the organisation.

10. Lectures: A lecture is a mode of delivery of information from a lecturer to the audience. It is used for management development since earlier times.

This is best suited to transmit more knowledge in a short time period to a large pool of managers. Its drawback is that it is a one-way transmission of information and hence does not enable the active participation of the audience.

11. Special Projects: In this technique, a trainee is assigned a project which is linked closely to the objectives and targets of his department.

An example of such a project is the “action learning” project, which is so-called because the trainees on this project can learn through action.

In this project, the management generates real problems for the trainees to tackle.

Trainees might also be provided with a written assignment that specifically mentions the aims, target dates, action plans and the name of the supervisor for keeping an eye on the assignment until its completion.

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