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If You Don’t Measure People Development, it Doesn’t Exist post image

We measure all sorts of things.  Quality, Profit, Safety, Engagement, Retention, Turnover are measured and those are all things that matter.  If a red flag is raised on any one of these, depending on the nature of your organization, you go into action quickly and take steps to correct it.

One item that rarely makes it to the list is people development.  If your organization expects to sustain and also  grow, it clearly belongs on the list of things that measure and matter.

This means you and your fellow leaders spend time on development.  The working definition of development is to invest time and energy in a person to equip and ready them to assume a role they may not be currently ready to assume.  Here are twenty ways to invest in the development of someone:

  1. Get to know them as a person
  2. Check-in with them on their willingness to be invested in and to grow
  3. Ask them how they want to be developed
  4. Have them shadow you in a task
  5. Shadow them as they perform a new task
  6. Have a coaching conversation where you ask for their perspective, insights and ideas for action
  7. Find them a mentor
  8. Give an assignment that stretches them
  9. Give an assignment that gets something new started
  10. Provide feedback
  11. Send them to training
  12. Train them yourself
  13. Read a book together and discuss it
  14. Have them attend a leadership team meeting
  15. Help them discover their strengths, personality preferences, style, passion
  16. Ask them to work on solving a problem that exists in the organization
  17. Give recognition and express confidence in them
  18. Ask them to teach or mentor someone else
  19. Ask them to share with a larger group what they already know
  20. Share development efforts with other leaders

Great…with this list or your own ideas, you’re developing and growing people in your organization.  Now what?  Now, measure it! Otherwise, it will remain in the background and likely will fall off the priority list.  Measure it with as much rigor as you do dollars and cents and other aspects that make it possible to keep your organization running.  Apply the same rigor to development because if you don’t measure it, it doesn’t really exist and over time it won’t happen.

Here’s some ways to start measuring development:

  1. Who are you developing? – Have a list of everyone who you are intentionally investing in their development and track the progress of their development
  2. How much time are you investing? – Track the number of hours spending in intentional development.  Set a current baseline and a target to shoot for
  3. Who’s stepping up? – Track the number of people who take on a new role as a result of their development
  4. Did you do it? – This is a yes or no answer that you should be answering every day and for everything you do.  A good initial target is to be able to answer “yes” on more than 50% of the things you do and do at make even a small investment in developing someone every day (100%).
  5. Talk about it – Make review of your development measures a standing agenda item in your leadership team meetings.  Reviews the metrics and tracking against your people development goals.


 What are you willing to commit to on people development?

How will you start measuring it?

Jeff Harmon

Jeff Harmon is the president of Brilliance Within Coaching & Consulting which specializes in developing servant leaders while helping them translate their strategies into actionable plans that drive business results. Jeff is the author of “The Anatomy of a Principled Leader.” Jeff has been developing leaders for nearly 20 years and has led the execution of over 100,000 hours of business strategy for information technology, financial services and non-profit organizations.

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