Help Them Grow!

Huffington Post

September 21, 2012

by Marshall Goldsmith

My good friend Beverly Kaye and her co-author Julie Winkle Giulioni have just published a fascinating book about career development called Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go. Bev is not only a good friend, she’s also the best-selling author of Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em and founder of Career Systems International, which specializes in engagement, retention, and development. She’s a highly respected thought leader in this field. Julie Winkle Giulioni is cofounder and principal of DesignArounds, a bicoastal consulting and instructional design firm specializing in leadership, sales, and customer service. Needless to say these two experts are a dynamic authorial combination!

I speak with executives and managers every day and have for many years. Everyone agrees that career development is major tool that is critical to employee retention, engagement, and productivity. Yet, so many leaders do not have the time to make this a priority. As a result, they often lose great people to other organizations whose leaders do make the time to help their employees grow.

Bev and Julie’s approach to this challenging dilemma is simple – have frequent, short conversations with employees about their career goals and options integrated into the normal course of a day. Integrating career conversation s into daily chats with employees — what a concept!

Now to the more difficult part: what do you say to your employees? What do you ask them? How do you help guide your employees to develop their own careers? Bev and Julie offer a framework for three basic types of conversations: Hindsight conversations – to help people figure out who they are, where they’ve been, and what they love to do; Foresight conversations – to help employees focus on the big picture of their future; and Insight conversations – to explore how the employees’ strengths and to recognize opportunities where they might grow and perform at high levels. This basic framework for conversations and the practical tips and guidelines, as well as the suggested conversation questions will help you help your employees design their own career plans.

Following the outlined suggestions you find in this book will help you ensure that your employees are productive, engaged, and enthusiastic about their careers. It’s fantastically simple and beneficial for all who participate – you, your employees, and your organization! I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this little book and practice career conversations with your employees. They will love you for it!