Investing in the development of your team can be hugely worthwhile. If you get it right, it results in increased performance and market share, along with development of a high-performing culture and an attractive, high-value employment brand.
By contrast, investing in team development can also be an incredibly expensive waste of time and money – and a frustrating process if you don’t get it right.
For that reason, a well-thought-out Talent Development strategy is invaluable for your business.
There is a lot to it, so in this article, we’ll start with the basics.
Six Tips for Developing your Talent Development Strategy
Whether you are developing a strategy and plan for an individual, your office or an entire agency, here are six things you can do to begin to set up a Talent Development Program that will grow your capability and that of your team:
1. Stop spending money on non-targeted solutions
Your capital is precious.
The amount of money leaders in the real estate industry throw at training and motivational events that don’t produce any measurable results is staggering. This is not for lack of good intent. It just lacks clarity on what is and isn’t a worthwhile investment for whom and at what time.
Don’t waste your money on non-targeted solutions. Instead, invest time, energy and, where necessary, money on solutions that target your individual team members specific capability gaps.
So, how do you work out what your team members capability gaps are? This requires both a commitment to caring about the answer – and investigation.
Whether or not you are able to uncover their gaps and the causes of their struggle will largely come down two things: to the type of culture you have developed – and your coaching skills.
(If you want help with this, reach out. This is what we do).
2. Develop a learning culture that makes failure and conversations about struggle safe
Real estate is a highly competitive, performance-oriented industry.
Ironically, the impact of this ‘performance orientation’ means that learning – the precursor to performance – is not safe for many, because not knowing (and needing to learn) can be interpreted as a sign of weakness.
Instead of being okay with where they are on their development journey, egos lead behaviour. They put on a face. Self protect. Only show the good stuff – the wins, the image.
To help our clients to lift performance, developing culture is one of the things we focus heavily on in our leadership programs. Culture is so important that it is one of our four “Pillars to High Performance”.
As leaders we need to develop cultures where learning is openly celebrated, and where conversations about failure and sharing where we’re struggling are safe.
That way, we gain access to understanding where our people need support, learning and development to perform at higher levels.
3. Help your team to create meaningful goals
You know that having clear goals is important for motivation. But it’s critical that your team’s goals are things they are deeply connected to, based on what they genuinely care about – not arbitrary income figures that lack any traceable connection to their genuine aspirations and values.
If they don’t ‘start with a deep why’, the action they take – and any development they undertake – will likely be arbitrary and ineffective.
Engage in real conversations with your team members about what drives them – and focus on creating a culture where all of your work with them is intended to support the achievement of their genuine aspirations.
Encouraging people to open up and share why they come to work is a vulnerable conversation that isn’t comfortable for some. If they won’t engage or open up about their why and what matters to them, that suggests they don’t feel safe to share. This can be a symptom of a historical issue with the culture being performance-oriented, and warrants further investigation and work to be able to shift.
4. Know what the critical elements of performance are – and how your people are performing against them
To develop your people, you need to understand what ‘performance’ actually looks like.
Not just in broad categories, but broken down into much smaller technical and behavioural elements that are important for winning appraisals, listings, sales and building a strong, positive reputation.
Understanding how they are performing against those elements – or more importantly, having them self evaluate, using feedback from vendors as evidence – will enable you to work with them to create an effective learning and development plan – and support them over time to develop competency.
5. See yourself and your leadership development as a key part of your Talent Development program – and invest in you
While you are not in control of everything, the success of your team is significantly influenced by what you do.
This is not only true, it’s also an attitudinal choice of a professional manager.
Amateur managers, by contrast, blame their underperforming team members for their disappointment and lack of results.
Your attitude and ability to coach them effectively are critical to their development and success. After all, they don’t know what they don’t know – and that’s why and where they’ll be struggling to lift performance. It’s up to you to help them to fill in the gaps.
If you’re like most managers, however, when it comes to helping your team to develop, you’ll have your own blind spots and learning gaps. It’s not enough to tell them what to do, hope (or assume) they’ll do it, and then get frustrated when they don’t. You need effective leadership and coaching skills. If you don’t have them, get them.
6. Development Plans should never fall out of goals alone.
As I discussed in my last article on business planning, plans should never fall out of goals alone.
To get where you want to go, you also need to know where you are in relation to your goals.
For your salespeople to achieve their goals, they also need to be clear about where they are. Once they have their end goal and current reality in relation to their goal clear (including understanding the areas they need focus and development), the action and development plan should become immediately clear.
In conclusion, talent development – i.e., helping your team to develop and achieve their goals – is a significant opportunity for managers.
Doing it well will not only result in a happier, higher-performing team, and have you stand out from the crowd – making recruitment and retention much easier – it will also help you to achieve your goals.
Want help pulling it all together? Reach out. Helping leaders get the best out of their salespeople and businesses is what we do. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 021 37 5050 for more information on how we can help.