SCERNIO: “Karla, two members of your staff came to see me and share a few areas of concern this morning,” explained Alley when she and Karla met in a conference room.
“I wish they had come to me first,” Karla said impatiently. “What were their issues?”
“Well, to be honest, they do not feel you are really committed to their development and that you lack concern for them.”
“Alley, I say yes to 90% of development requests from training, to tuition assistance, to conferences and even out-of-branch rotations. I go out of my way to develop my people.”
“I know, Karla! You have a great record on paper.”
“What do you mean? Where else do I need to have a great record? Isn’t what can be measured what is important?”
“Karla, I think the challenge you are facing is difficulty in projecting genuine and individual concern for them. I am convinced, you do all you can, but they do not seem to feel your concern, and that is where it really counts.”
“What can I do to change that, Alley? I care about my employees. I really do! How can I show them that?”
From your week’s introduction to the conversation between Karla and Alley, consider what you would do in your consultation with Karla with respect to the challenge she is facing. Karla is a well-meaning supervisor who is respected by staff but faces challenges in connecting with and relating to employees. She has worked hard to afford her direct reports all requested developmental opportunities. As you learn about the employee experience, post a response to one of the specific areas below:
- How should Alley approach Karla to address the difficult employee engagement situation she is currently facing?
- What could be the barrier or barriers that exist between Karla and her direct reports?
- What types of behaviors—reaching out, basic leadership and actions to benefit employees intrinsically and extrinsically—could Karla do to reach her direct reports?
- What types of platforms and technologies could be applied to support Karla’s efforts?
- Cohen, J. A. (2015). Hidden in practice: The management activities that foster employee learning. Development and Learning in Organizations, 29(3), 7–10.
- This article supports the idea that the manager plays a very important role in the development of an employee, especially when providing learning opportunities at work.
- Crowell, B., & Kaye, B. (2016, 01). The leader’s role in talent development?: Conversations to engage, develop and retain. Talent Management Excellence Essentials.
- The most important thing that employees want from their manager is to talk, but it seems that managers are not providing enough of that activity.
Engagement as an Organizational Goal
- Grab, W. (1996). Succession planning–how to perpetuate your leadership. Hospital Material Management Quarterly, 18(1), 61.
- This article is an explanation of “orchestra style leadership” where corporations create a culture that encourages associates to seek their own career directions while simultaneously advancing the mission and vision of the corporation.
- Kroth, M., & Christensen, M. (2009) Chapter 1: Career development: Whose responsibility is it? In Career Development Basics (pp. 1–14). Alexandria: Association for Talent Development.
- This chapter breaks down the reasons why organizations should take responsibility for career development and how a career development culture can increase the organization’s results.
- Sohn, D. (2017). Social collaboration sparks employee development: Empower your workforce to excel and thrive. HR Strategy and Planning Excellence Essentials.
- This article outlines the ways that social collaboration tools can provide a platform to foster employee development.