HR Checklist: Boosting Employee Development with Performance Programs

In recent times, HR teams have come up with innovative ways to encourage employee growth through performance programs. The idea is to establish development-focused goals that inspire healthy discussions between managers and team members, and help them build the necessary skill sets. Here are some tips on how to instill a culture of growth and development with your performance programs:

1- Performance Reviews

Include questions about achievements and areas of improvement to inform development goals in the interview form. For instance, ask “What are 3-5 achievements you are proud of?” and “What important task could you have done at least 10% better in the last quarter?”

Ask questions specifically related to career development, such as “What knowledge, experience, and/or collaboration opportunities will benefit you in the next quarter?” and “What do you want your next career step to be?”

After the review cycle, invite employees to meet with colleagues to discuss potential areas of improvement and solidify tactics and strategies to achieve their career goals.


2- Goals


Encourage all employees to set at least one goal focused on personal or professional development, with measurable milestones to track progress. It is recommended that managers and team members meet every three months to review goals and discuss progress, making changes as necessary.


3- 1:1s


Initiate development-focused 1:1 conversations at your workplace to check in on employee growth. During quieter times, suggest adding development-oriented topics to these conversations for managers and employees to discuss. To help track development activities and ensure their completion, consider leveraging various apps that are user-friendly and accessible to employees.


4- Feedback


Employee feedback is essential for providing a comprehensive evaluation of their performance. To achieve this, it’s crucial to gather feedback from all stakeholders, including managers, team members, and leaders. It’s also best to ask for feedback after significant milestones, such as closing a deal or completing a major project, to obtain relevant insights that can help employees grow. Make the process easier for team members by using their favorite workplace apps, such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, and Outlook.


5- Participation Surveys


To gauge employee interest in career development, include a section on “Career Development” in the participation questionnaire. Ask questions like “Do you have the option to move into other roles at the company?” or “Do you understand how to develop your career at the company?” to obtain an idea of their priorities. By comparing scores from the “Career Development” section to those from “Leadership” and “Work Environment,” you can determine whether improvement in career development is a priority for the company.

If you notice lower scores in the “Career Development” section, consider creating employee focus groups to gather insights and identify possible solutions. It’s also essential to slice “Career Development” scores by employee demographics to ensure that all team members have equal opportunities for professional advancement.


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