Chapter 29. Focus on Growth to Improve Employee Engagement

Amy Rich

Managers often miss one of their employees’ core intrinsic motivators: clearly identifying their growth paths. Taking time to set bidirectional expectations in a professional development plan shows that you, as their manager, are invested in their success, resulting in better engagement and performance, greater job satisfaction, and retention. Within 30 days of a new person joining my team, we take at least an hour to go through a document that contains the questions we look at here in a moment, helping me understand what makes them tick and setting expectations about their growth path over the next year.

What Is a Professional Development Plan?

A professional development plan is more than a random document of vague skills that an employee might aspire to learn.

  • It’s a holistic plan that melds the desires and needs of both you and the company and increases your ability to perform in your current job and/or your potential to perform in future roles.

  • It’s not focused solely on technical skills or just about conferences and training.

  • It’s not just about promotions (not everyone wants to advance beyond their current level).

The questions that follow are meant to help you discover where you want to go over the next year (or longer!). What do you like or hate doing? What are you good at? How do you measure up to your job level, and where could you improve to meet or exceed expectations? We’ll create a concrete ...

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