Did your mom mark your height on the door frame as a child? Let’s admit it. Those pen marks on the door-frame each year were exciting. It was even more fun if siblings, or other relatives, were marked on the door as well. What was it about the marks that made it so fun? Was it that we could see how much we were growing each year? Was it that we could see how close we were to a height goal? Or was it that mom would see our progress? Whatever the reason, one aspect that jumps out to me is the childhood growth chart was a visual control. We didn’t think about that at the time, but using visual controls play an important part of business life.
A few years ago I wrote about a key concept for employee development, “employee development is better executed as an ongoing part of a business rather than an event.” As I map and transform many of my business activities to TPS and Lean principles, I think about how this relates to Principles 9 and 10.
Principle #9 – “Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.”
Principle #10 – “Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.”
The verbs ‘grow’ and ‘develop’ describe an ongoing process. To measure progress of the growth journey, we’ll need visual tools and controls.
Make a chart.
One tool I started using a few months ago is a flow and performance board for visual management. This is a good spot to track employee growth metrics. I’m doing this with an eye towards professional skills enhancement and team cross-training.
Step 1: Create a skills matrix of the staff to document the current state
Step 2: Create an individual training plan for employees that addresses their personal growth as well as overall coverage the team provides to the business.
Step 3: Make it visible just like mom did. J
Here’s a very simple chart framework.
|Skill A||Skill B||Skill C|
Here’s a simple action plan (employee development plan).
|Employee A increase skill A to level 3.||December 31|
|Employee B learn skill A to a level 2.||October 31||Currently employee A has no backup for skill A|
|Employee C increase skill C to a level 4.||November 15|
Onward and upward!
Photo Credit: Rochelle Hartman via Flickr Creative Commons