Today, I met with my direct reports to go over their performance reviews. It is difficult to find the purpose in bureaucracy, especially in tough economic times. So in my "rebellion", I decided to make the most of this edict from on high.
In keeping with the "script", we addressed the issues noted in their respective reviews. We talked about career goals and such. And having done this, I confirmed that they were satisfied with all that was written and addressed up to that point.
"Yes," they would dutifully reply; "Check," my mental reply.
But then I expressed to these amazing individuals that I felt responsible for equipping them not only for their jobs, but also the greater market. I spoke candidly and frankly that because we live in such uncertain times ( haven't we always? ), I felt morally obligated to assist them in becoming all I know they can be. And I apologized for failing them so in the previous year; for my distance, my myopic nature, my personal ambition making me unavailable at times.
I gave them the power and right to hold me accountable in my others-improvement endeavor. They can improve me as I help improve them. I want so desperately for my direct reports to succeed. It causes me much inner-turmoil to think that should a pink slip appear, it could send them out into the current job market with limited exposure to advanced topics in development, testing, and automation. This is my responsibility, so I endeavor to rectify it.
Managers and Testers reading this: what are YOU doing to improve the quality of the PEOPLE around YOU in ways that will benefit THEM should they no longer be around YOU?