Motivate Staff to Continue Developing Their Skills

What supervisors can do:

  • Encourage employees to take ownership of their jobs and to strive for personal excellence.
  • Be knowledgeable, and share resources and referrals.
  • Make sure job responsibilities are clear and useful.
  • Discuss skills that are essential to be successful in the job.
  • Provide opportunities for increased responsibility and career advancement.
  • Give honest recognition for work achievements.
  • Model the need for continuous learning.

Support Performance Development

How supervisors can act:

  • Encourage employees to do an honest assessment of the job responsibilities and determine where they may have skill shortfalls or skills not being fully utilized.
  • Discuss and create a development plan during the performance planning cycle.
  • Endorse employees' attendance at classes and activities that support the unit's objectives, development plans, and goals.
  • Discuss what employees learned in classes and support the integration of new ideas/methods into their work responsibilities.
  • Provide timely behavioral feedback on performance and discuss ways to improve and develop further.
  • Provide opportunities for employees to develop through:
    • Supervisor and peer coaching
    • Cross-training
    • Rotating work assignments
    • Committee and task force assignments
    • Mentoring
    • Internships
    • Campus staff organizations
    • Professional associations
    • Skill assessment programs
    • University degree and Extension programs

Low Commitment Inhibits Employee Development

Causes of Low Commitment:

  • Lack of appreciation, reinforcement
  • Low satisfaction, motivation
  • Low employee ownership/involvement
  • Misunderstood/unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of trust
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Lack of attention to employee's needs
  • Differences in values, personality type, style (with manager, peers, customers, etc.)
  • Workload level (too much, too little)
  • Current responsibilities unconnected with career ambitions
  • Conflict
  • Personal problems

Commitment cannot be taught - however, it can be inspired or supported.

Actions to Raise Commitment and Competence

Talk with the employee - Consider:

  • Opportunities to learn, practice, perform
  • Revised, realistic expectations
  • Delegation of challenging assignments
  • Special projects
  • Job change (additional scope, responsibilities)
  • Coaching and feedback on specific skills
  • Mentoring
  • Sharing of knowledge, experience (from you or others)
  • Observing/ Apprenticing with competent associates
  • Motivated self-study
  • Training on essential skills and competiences

Competence can be taught and learned.