Why is it important to even create such a thing?
I once saw a quote on LinkedIn: “CFO asked CEO: What happens if we invest in developing people & they leave us? CEO: What happens if we don’t & they stay?”
That’s a big motivation, also add to the fact that people that grow, learn, find new challenges, tend to stay longer and employee retention is super important for a manager.
Another LinkedIn inspirational quote: “People leave managers, not companies. Don’t let that manager be you.”
I know this sounds cold and calculated, it doesn’t have to be, I truly care, and I know my manager at MediaMind (My role model) cared as well, but there are other motivations aside from caring, to achieve your future goals, to save money on losing people, there are economic reasons to care as well and it’s good to address them too.
What is my dream Career Development Process?
Some History First
A year ago my current manager and the best manager I’ve had since my role model 🙂 shared an article that blew my mind, Medium shared their career growth plan and it is lovely! (See here: Medium Career Growth).
I immediately tried to understand how to make it work for my Engineers, how to utilize it, take the things that work for us and change what doesn’t…
So, This is my dream
My version of Medium’s growth model
Phase A (±A month Before the Annual Review):
- Each team member in the development department does a self-evaluation in our Engineering 360 Evaluation Tool
- The manager of the same team member + 2-3 senior staff members do the investigation also (same tool on the same person)
- We Schedule a session where we talk about variances and present the results with each other and discuss our results, and focus on discrepancies and explain why and how we see things.
- Trying to reach an agreement on what the baseline and design the 360 profile of the Engineer
- We talk about discrepancies together and negotiate them
- Once an agreement is reached and we have the profile ready then we can start with Phase B
Phase B (During Annual Review)
- The manager and the engineer use the Engineering 360 Evaluation Tool to produce where we want to see the engineer at the end of next year (using the same tool used to do self-evaluation for the year, but instead of evaluating the current year, we talk about where we want to see the person in the next annual review).
- We create the snowflake profile (Engineering 360 Evaluation Tool) for next year and agree on it.
- We break the development into stages and transfer it to a Google Doc document that is shared with the manager and the same engineer
- We break those stages into quarters
Phase C (During the year)
- During the year, the engineer needs to take care and to work on the areas he/she chose and to improve in the areas that he/she has chosen
- The manager, of course, should help, support, track and push sometimes if the engineer is falling behind.
- Every quarter we go through our agreements, what we broke into quarters, etc. and assess if we are on a good track or not.
- At the end of the year (A month before the Annual Review) we start this process again.
It is very important, to be constructive and honest with each other. If the manager disagrees with a person grew according to plan/evolved in the right way, there must also be self-criticism by that manager. “Why did not the engineer progressed the way we wanted?” “What could I do better?” Could I have helped better In choosing tasks or tracking along the year? ”
So my dream process is mainly to do:
- Self-evaluation and manager’s evaluation (with help of others to remove biases)
- Find a 360 point of view on team members
- Discuss and negotiate with the Engineer – Communication is more important than most things.
- Measure the contribution of an Engineer beyond just technical contribution
- Use Shared Doc for one-on-one tracking and quarterly to review progress
- Once a Q make a big one-on-one to follow up and make sure we are both on track
- If we are not, ask why and adjust if needed…
How Would I Implement Such a Thing?
As for implementation of such a process at any organization, You should be very open with the development department at the beginning of the process.
Invite everyone to participate in order to define the stages and the route (we have a technological and managerial shift track).
The idea is to let everyone come and express their opinions, which will lower the resistance and also increase the connection to such a process, it is actually something we all work on and the goal is the personal development of the engineer…
I personally like this process because it is not only technological, but it succeeds in pointing out what is required of an engineer in an organization. It is a personal process (I am really high on self-reflection), but not only… It’s not only in the manager’s hands but also of other senior team members of the same person to reduce biases – I am really happy about this process and this is one of the things I can’t wait to push forward…