Developing employees is another important activity of the managerial leader (Noe 2012). The objective of developing employees is to shape their knowledge, attitudes, and skills in order to enhance their contributions to the company and to foster their personal growth. Knowledge is the cognizance of facts, truths, and other information. Attitudes are habitual personal dispositions toward people, things, situations, and information. Skills are the abilities to perform specialized work with recognized competence.
In well-organized companies, managers are evaluated on the basis of several performance metrics, including how they have taken care of the development needs of their employees. To be successful, employees must demonstrate initiative in seeking to continuously improve their own knowledge, attitudes, and skills.
There are several ways in which managers may help develop employees. Employees may be prompted to follow the managers' personal examples of continuous improvement in knowledge, attitude, and skills. Managers may coach inexperienced employees on the job by demonstrating preferred ways of performing specific tasks. In addition, managers could enrich employees' work experience by institutionalizing a job rotation. If the company's budget and policy so allow, the specific employees may be sent to attend professional meetings, technical conferences, training seminars, and study programs at universities. Furthermore, team assignments may be used to permit a better utilization of the employees' talents and expertise to other critical projects, while offering them an opportunity to become known to a larger circle of peers within the company (Yukl 2012).
In training employees, managers need to emphasize employee participation, as the goal is to satisfy the employee's needs while simultaneously attaining the company's objectives. Employees should be appraised with respect to their present performance in determining what steps might be needed to qualify them to make greater contributions in the future. If the employee's current performance is deemed to be inadequate, managers need to be positive and forward looking in helping the individual recognize the need for selfimprovement. By setting a personal example of continuous improvement, the manager is likely to positively motivate the individual to seek further development.
Besides training employees, managers are also expected, as a part of their managerial duties, to find suitable candidates within their organizations to succeed themselves sometime in the future (Ward and Aronoff 2010). This is consistent with career planning programs that some industrial companies are actively implementing to promote leaders from within, discourage turnover, and maintain corporate continuity.