How do you tell an employee they need “development”?

I’ve been doing a video series over at Saba Software called Talent Talks for the last year or so. Yesterday they put up the latest video where I discuss how does one of your managers tell an employee they need development. Let’s face it, most of our employees think they’re awesome, so being told ‘you need development’ isn’t always a positive uplifting conversation!

Telling an employee that they need development is an area that can easily lead to resentment, hurt feelings and any number of things that would create tension in employee-manager relationships. Telling an employee they need development is difficult; this is a tale as old as time.

Telling an employee, “you need to be developed” with the intention of improving their performance might sound like “you’re not good enough” to the employee. Leaders are hoping these conversations will help the employee prosper in the organization, but this can’t happen if the employee starts off thinking “I’m not good enough” So, how can a leader approach this conversation with positivity and courtesy?

Normally to prepare for the development conversation as a leader, you would benefit from already having asked your employee “do you really want to be developed?” By asking this question, you know the level of commitment and dedication your employee has in their role. These answers will tell you which employees are worth developing, as well as prepare employees for the development process.

Click here to watch the video (it’s like 3 minutes and worth it!)

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