Inspire growth in employees

Leadership and Management Certification Series

Table of Contents

Striving for high-performing employees is an intention among leaders around the world. A great employee is someone who is always learning and willing to take on new challenges. But this behavior doesn’t just occur because the team is doing well or because employees are happy. So how do you instill that behavior in your organization?

Below, you’ll learn how to inspire growth in your employees using behavioral data by establishing a career path, providing constructive feedback, setting accountability measures, and coaching strategies to assess gaps in current and future goals. We’ll do this by following the story of Marissa, a current account manager with aspirations to move up in her company.

Career pathing

If you really want to inspire your employees to grow, give them something to work towards. Progressing toward a goal is a strong motivator and opportunities to grow professionally is a top driver for employee engagement. This is why creating career paths for your employees has a direct impact on your business results. Clear career paths can help you motivate employees in a way that’s aligned with your business and their desires.

But how do you ensure you’re setting them up for success? Most companies define specific skills needed for advancement which can help internal candidates identify areas of development, such as project management skills or programming languages. When combined with their personal behavioral data and those behaviors expected for the role, internal candidates have a full picture into what they need to do to take that next step. 

Try it out! This activity showcases career pathing and how it was done for Marissa in her organization.

To include the behavioral side of career pathing, make sure that every role has a Job Target. Once a Job Target is set, you’ll be able to effectively compare your employees to those Job Targets and show them how they can stretch and prepare for different opportunities using behavioral data. You can even communicate advancement opportunities with that specified target so that other employees who are interested in the role know exactly what behaviors are required for success. This is the kind of information that could have benefited Marissa. 

Career pathing is an ongoing process. In many ways, companies manage jobs and people like budgets: they do it once, and then they increase it a little bit every year. If you’re stagnant, your employees will be too. Make sure career goals are discussed often with your employees and that 

Job Targets are reevaluated—especially if functions for that role change over time. This applies not only to the behavioral aspect, but also to those skills they might need. Programs and processes change all the time, so be sure you’re effectively preparing your employees for the future.

Career pathing best practices
Be proactive and plan for the roles the organization might need in the future.
Consider those who want to move laterally as opposed to vertically in the organization.
When job responsibilities change, redefine the role and determine if the person is still the right fit.
Always capture the behavioral and cognitive profiles needed for success in the role.


Now that your employees have something to work towards, it’s critical they’re able to assess how they’re doing through feedback. Providing feedback is something many struggle with, but there are principles you can follow to make giving feedback easier:

  • Always tie feedback to the business. 
  • Explain how their work is making an impact. 
  • Give specific examples.
  • Be objective.

This way the employee understands exactly what they did right or wrong and how the company is affected by those actions. See if you can determine the right and wrong way to provide feedback.

Try it out! 

The way you deliver feedback can—and should—be tailored to your employees. PI’s Management Strategy Guide and Relationship Guide will help you understand how employees prefer to receive feedback and interact within the workplace. Even the most well-thought-out piece of feedback can be received poorly if done in a way that goes against how that employee prefers to receive recognition or feedback. For instance, Marissa’s manager would see that she prefers time to think things through and scheduled meetings as opposed to just dropping by unannounced.

Remember that although having those scheduled sessions are important, if something urgent occurs, feedback should also be provided so that it can be timely. Talking about something that an employee did two weeks ago most likely won’t have the same impact as it would on the day of the incident.


Much like feedback, holding someone accountable to something means there needs to be a clear goal or expectation set. Even CEOs struggle with holding people accountable, so how do we get better? Consider yourself. Are you holding yourself accountable? If the answer is no, then you’re not setting the right example for your employees. Demonstrate that it’s okay to be vulnerable and that failures can happen as long as we learn from them.

With Job Targets and a business strategy in place, you can use tools such as PI’s Personal Development Chart to build awareness of an employee’s strengths and caution areas. Increasing awareness will help align with expectations and completion of goals. Think back to Marissa. Using this tool, Marissa can understand her gaps with the job target and utilize coaching tips and cautions provided to meet her career goals.


Try it out! Hover over each arrow for an example of the personalized insights you can expect to see based on intensity of your behavioral factors.

These tools make accountability easier since you’ll know how to interact with an employee. But, it’s not just about the manager when it comes to accountability. Build a culture where employees hold the team and themselves accountable. What if a team is consistently arriving late to meetings? Encourage the team to acknowledge this concern and create solutions to the problem. Periodic retrospectives can help employees take a step back and consider what can be done better. Always challenge your team by asking not only what to improve, but what just isn’t working.

The Coaching Guide, for example, can provide personalized coaching by addressing any gaps between behavioral drives and behaviors required for success in the role.


Managing your employees and providing feedback is important but coaching them on how to get there is vital to their success. Schedule a recurring meeting to have open discussion about personal and professional development. Remember, your responsibility isn’t to directly set a goal for them. Instead, ask clarifying questions and discuss paths they can take.

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The Coaching Guide, for example, can provide personalized coaching by addressing any gaps between behavioral drives and behaviors required for success in the role.

Coach employees in a way that fits their natural behaviors. For example, those with higher extraversion drives might like to talk in person and have these conversations face to face. But lower extraversion employees might want some time to prepare for a session on how to better leverage their strengths or accommodate for concerns.

Try it out! Use the activity to learn more about the coaching guide and how Marissa’s manager could have used this to better prepare her for success.

Setting these standards will allow your employees to be aware of how they can stretch and strive in their career. Push them to grow by setting a path they can work for and holding them to those goals.

Inspiring growth in your employees is easy with PI's Inspire solution.