Jilaine Parkes: Achieving employee development – how technology can help

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Once organizations overcome the myths that surround online performance management they’re often enthusiastic about the cost savings and perhaps the equitable ratings it produces. Employee development may be an after thought. In fact development plans are often rarely created in any type of system; however, with the right tools in place, an online system can greatly improve leadership and development.

A formal, individual development plan is an aspect of the performance management cycle and is typically created after a formal performance review. In some systems, particularly paper based or overwhelmingly complex ones, the development plan is an after thought and there is little motivation to complete a plan. An online system improves the odds of creating a plan through:

  • The use of email notifications (keeps everything in real time and on time)
  • Improved usability (easy to understand interface)
  • Reinforcement (visible button, feedback from coach/manager)
  • Requirements

The basis of employee engagement and development must be a positive relationship with his or her coach. Technology can ensure mutual accountability and an ongoing conversation as part of the requirement to create and then review goals, progress updates, reviews, and development plans. Required tasks, prompted by the system, ensure an ongoing conversation as both employee and manager work to keep the lines of communication open.

Leadership skills are naturally reinforced with a properly designed online system through the following mechanisms:

• Tips and Training Guidelines (displayed in a simple, eye catching format and always accessible)
• E-learning modules
• Online Tutorials
• Existing Models Online (brought online to reinforce)
• Reinforcement of Your Leadership Philosophy

An effective online platform guides users through a variety of helpful training resources, tools and frameworks. A customizable site enables the organisation to maintain an alignment of priorities – including leadership.
Online tools may offer a variety of development planning features– but should contain some or all of the following elements:

• An objective or objectives
• A calendar or identified timeline
• An action plan
• Links to competencies
• Leader approval on the final plan
• A progress tracker
• Links to a Learning Management System (LMS)

In summary, while the efficiencies of an online system may be indisputable, one of the less known benefits they may provide is a reinforced leadership focus and a drive towards employee development. From notifications, improved relationship management and training tips to focused, formal development plans, technology keeps employees like Harry on the right path.

About Jilaine Parkes

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About Jiliane Parkes

Jilaine Parkes is a knowledgeable and passionate Human Resources / Organization Development Professional with over 23 years combined experience in large, dynamic organisations and independent HR / OD Consulting. Jilaine has focused her career in areas of Organization Design and Learning and Growth.

While holding senior HR management positions in Bombardier, Kraft Foods, Canadian Tire, Lavalife and Cineplex Entertainment, including a one year stint in Prague, Czech Republic, Jilaine has designed and driven initiatives in Business Planning, Leadership Development, Employee Development, Succession Planning, Performance Management, Learning & Growth Strategy and Team Chartering.

In addition to having worked as part-time faculty at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario she has also worked within the Fanshawe organization in the areas of Leadership and Performance Development.

In early 2009, Jilaine partnered with Bruce Croxon (co-founder of Lavalife and CBC’s Dragon’s Den) and launched an Online Talent Management Software company featuring the automated Performance Management module known as Sprigg. With licensed Users in the thousands across North America and the UK today, this venture has not only a proven track record of success but holds a high growth future for SpriggHR Inc. where Jilaine currently resides as President and CEO.

Jilaine is also an accomplished public speaker and facilitator with a humorous, very direct and down to earth style.

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