Customized Individual Development – Key to becoming an employer of choice – Radu Manolescu

Last month I talked about the importance of a “Customized Retention” methodology. This month I will discuss another key adaptability feature of the employers of choice or of those soon to become one – “Customized Individual Development”.

‘Key people customized retention and development’ is or should be high on the agenda of any business that wants to not only grow but survive in a VUCA environment. Especially in large companies where most of the important investments regarding people are still decided at headquarters and where fully tailored development (except for the very few at the top) of key people across the organization is still wishful thinking.

Based on our research, for approximately 50% of the companies we’ve consulted, it is either rare or nonexistent to have a structured and customized approach to key people development; approximately 40% have structured and semi-customized development plans for most employees while some of them even have their own internal academies. However less than 2% of the total is really considering a customized approach for their key people, based on our experience.

Many companies are struggling to attract and retain talent yet customization still seems a complicated subject and unfortunately far from being the norm.

Think for yourself:

  • How often are you being asked about what is important for you in that specific career and that personal moment?
  • How often is there an action plan from HR or from your line manager to address and try accommodating those desires (who are by the way, often more than decent)?
  • How often is the definition of “talent” or “key person” transparent; and whoever receives this “qualification” enters a fully customized retention and development program?
  • How often does your company encourage you to hire a coach to take you from good to great?

What do I mean by customized development?

I mean a development program that is tailored to your strengths and areas for leadership growth. A program that follows a thorough assessment consisting of:

  • a one to one interview with a specialized consultant using several interviewing methodologies, tools and instruments;
  • interviews done by the consultant with some of the key stakeholders around you (about your strengths, areas for development etc.), sometimes even discussions with your spouse;
  • a 360° feedback using a reliable online tool. Of course reputable online assessments could be added too.

A program that is linked to the future; to the strategy of the company/division; to developing skills, behaviors and mindset needed in the next potential roles; and of course, to your plans and purpose.

I’d like to share how we do this for senior managers whom we develop and coach. In doing so, I’ll make a parallel with the medical doctors’ world:

Many of us have experienced proper diagnosis and treatment only upon thorough blood analysis and several consultations. Done by a good doctor who puts things well together, makes the right connections and recommendations. In the opposite case, when the doctor did not understand the whole picture and interpreted just part of the information, the diagnosis and treatment was usually wrong and a waste of time, money and unmet expectations.

Now, from our personal perspective: how often did our health improve if we did not follow the treatment as recommended?

We all know the answer to this question…


Phase 1 “Blood Analysis & Investigations”

This is a thorough assessment from different angles where we analyze:

  • Character (integrity, ethics, responsibility, compassion, respect, forgiveness, etc.)
  • Mindset and potential
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Drive, passion, energy
  • Coachability (courage, discipline, humbleness)
  • EQ
  • Mental agility
  • Stakeholder Management, influencing and change management skills
  • Digital Transformation Capabilities (Resilience, adaptability, willingness to experiment, tech curiosity, etc.) as well as other very important aspects.

Phase 2 “Diagnosis”

Once the assessment is completed, the info gathered from the above mentioned angles is analyzed and consolidated in an assessment report that includes a fully customized development plan for 1-2 years. Besides a pretty objective ‘radiography’ of strengths, areas for development, engagement drivers, benchmarking with an up to date leadership profile across industries, career scenarios, etc.

Part 2 goes more into detail about phase 2 and beyond.


Tags: executive search, executive search consultant, IIC Partners, K.M. Trust & Partners, Managing Partner, Radu, Manolescu, Radu Manolescu 

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