If we are not developing, we are degrading. Most of people are lazy creatures, so an obligation of any manager is to grow their people.
There are two types of companies: those which develop their employees, and those which do not.
The first ones, do not strain at all. They just have people (aka resources) who simply do their work. No more, no less. These employers are afraid of being left by more skilled, professional subordinates grew up their current companies.
But the other firms, who treat their employees well, care about them and give all the opportunities to them. They help them growing their talents, increasing knowledge and improving skills, – those are treasures.
The process of growing personnel is stretching.
As a manager, you need to set a temp for staff professional growth, help them escape a comfort zone. If employees are in the comfort zone, they are not growing, which is equal to degrading.
Monitor that your people have a little bit more level of workload than their current level of ability. Because when a person gets into a situation which matches their existing level of competence and proficiency, they do not learn anything new. So with time he/she will find themselves in a comfort zone.
But more effective is to give them tasks which they are not fully capable of solving. There is some risk of not having a task done but also there is a good way of training employees. And when they will done the task, they will feel self-satisfaction for completing not an easy task for them.
There is no sense to do the same thing or a task which an employee can do easily. There is no need to stuck on this level of performance because they are professionals in it.
The process of employees stretching should be like sport exercises: when a person feel some discomfort, but after completion of one more set of push ups, they understand: “I’ve done it!”
Hence, when you look back, you realize how big a mountain you climbed on. You see how much your employees learned and done, and how much you and your people grew.
For me, this is a huge pleasure to see the results of all one-to-one meetings with direct reports, to evaluate the efforts and their effectiveness. Often, a one motivational word to an employee leads to solid results of a new sales deal (if an employee is a sales manager); of a project delivered 2 weeks earlier (if an employee is a developer) or all the written articles of a content plan (if an employee is a content writer). And this is marvellous! This is a return of all the investments in the employees.
Moreover, when your people grow, you grow with them as well. The more people you grew up, the better manager are you.
Put your employees into a development zone instead of having them into the comfort zone. Each time go better and better. Become your better version and help your people to become better, too.