Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Employee development on purpose

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Recently companies have raised their focus on why customer success matters and how to delight increasingly demanding customers. At its core, creating happy customers requires happy employees—the front-line people who interact continually with customers.

What are companies doing to develop their employees? Do free lunches and game rooms provide the needed motivation to keep employees excited  and customers happy? What are you doing to improve employee engagement in your organization?


Employee engagement happens when leaders listen and seek feedback from the people at all levels of their organization. When employees know they’re really being heard and that their contributions make a difference, the game changes. You have a group of individuals committed to the success of your company. Customers feel it and get excited, because what they’ve bought into has complete support behind it.

The new term that describes these employee-focused initiatives and leadership is ‘employee management’—the focused approach to fully engaging employees in the mission and success of the company. To fully engage employees and assure they’re at the right place in the company, you need to understand and take action on three key points:

  1. Drivers: Understand what inspires employees, what causes them to do what they do. You need to tap in to what drives their behavior.
  2. Skills: Get familiar with the talents and abilities your employees possess. Where can they create the most value in your company? Given where they want to go in their career, do they have the skills to get there? You need to understand their skills and work with them to grow in the right areas.
  3. Goals: Know the objectives they have set for themselves. What are your employees striving to accomplish? Helping them set goals and supporting their achievement ranks among the preeminent purposes behind employee leadership.

Employee management is ultimately personal. It takes time and effort to really get to know your employees. You might be wondering if there’s an app or tool you could use to keep up with detailed and intense work of employee-centric administration. Fortunately, the answer is yes. Instructure, a leading company in education-based LMS solutions, has created a comprehensive employee development product called Bridge, for organizations that want to take employee management to the next level. Bridge has two important differentiators from other, more traditional offerings:

  1. It approaches employee development from the employee’s point of view (POV), not the manager’s; it’s uniquely focused on involving the employees in their own progress. It includes learning videos and activities that not only invite employees to participate but also gets them excited about their progress and potential. It also helps the managers connect more deeply with their employees.
  2. Bridge approaches employee development form a holistic perspective; it ties in a learn, practice, assess metaphor that engages users. Their drivers are key: employee development is personal; it’s not software, it’s a belief system.

If you want to improve all aspects of your business, start with employee engagement. Take decisive action to develop your employees on purpose. I get no kickbacks for selling tools, so my recommendation for Bridge is based on what I’ve seen and what I know it can do for your organization. Take a look and see for yourself.

Questions: How do you motivate your employees? Where do employees fall among your top assets? Why? Please leave a comment in the space below.

The Product Management Perspective: As a leader of product managers, you have an especially important role in the success of your company. Your team of product managers, product owners, product marketing managers and/or UX designers are responsible for the success of your company at its core. You need to understand their drivers, skills and goals, and work closely with them to succeed in leading your key product initiatives.

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