How To Plan a Staff Development Day

A leader is someone who buys lunch for the staff.  A good leader provides the staff with the plates and silverware needed to eat the food.  Your employees need your vision and availability of resources to carry out the agreed upon company goals.  But each employee also needs to develop personally and professionally in order to be able to contribute effectively to the vision.  Here are four tips to plan a staff development day.

Think of staff development in terms of team, temperature, tools, and time.

  1. View your staff as a team you lead, a body of dedicated people, a group committed to your organizational philosophy and ethos.  A team performs as a unit of individuals carefully carrying out their individual tasks.  Begin your plan with focus, perspective, vision.  What do you want to accomplish as a team?  What does each member of the team need to contribute to the whole?  Sit with your team to plan your development day ahead of time to ensure that there is total buy-in from the beginning.
  2. Take the temperature of your team, each individual, and your work setting.  Can each member take a day away from regular responsibilities?  Does each player understand the value of setting a day aside to grow?  Is your normal location available or would it be better to spend the day off-site?  The assessment is valuable to determine how much time you can take and in what setting your staff will prosper.
  3. Determine what your team needs as a whole and what each individual member could benefit from.  What skill areas are lacking on your team?  Where are the gaps?  What one attribute, unique to each member, would boost their performance?  What one event would touch each employee – motivate them, encourage them, challenge them?  Professional development focuses on skills while personal development focuses on competencies.  You need to address both over time in order for your staff to develop effectively.
  4. Count the cost of time needed to develop your staff.  Is one staff development day per month needed or can you do it quarterly?  What are the short term and long-term effects on the bottom line?  Time is a valuable resource – use it well to develop your staff.  A well-developed staff will perform to its potential with care and nurture.


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