Developmental assignments is a great way to expose an employee to the challenge of working on specific skill areas while learning how to apply newly acquired knowledge and skills to solve some predefined business issue or question. Preparation of an assignee is key – along with ensuring that the learning objectives of the developmental assignment and the business issue or question to be addressed is well understood. The other side of the coin would be to evaluate what an assignee has learned from his or her developmental assignment at the end. Of course the topic warrants its own post at some point, but let’s just stick with the evaluation for now.
Evaluations can be based on the basics of the assignment and how the employee experienced the preparation phase, support during the assignment and the coaching/mentoring he or she received while working on the assignment. Evaluation should also include a review of the assignee’s learning and this is often done by means of a report and/or a presentation to an audience including at least some senior level managers or executives.
The templates I am sharing include a presentation feedback form which can help those attending the presentation to structure their feedback to the presenter (the assignee) in a consistent way. An HR or Training/Learning/Development representative can collect all the feedback forms afterwards and collate those into one feedback document for the benefit of the assignee. Having this feedback available enables presenters to become mindful of the way they communicated and how effective they were at conveying what they intended when they prepared for the presentation.
- Customize the first column to include specific details around developmental objectives that were set as a part of the assignment. That way the presenter gets very specific feedback on how well he or she met those expectations through the presentation and handling questions during the session.
- Be sure to prepare those who would provide feedback so they understand how feedback is to be captured on the form – sometimes they are confused about the columns and you may even prefer to just have one column with a score. Specifically ask them to add comments to help enrich the feedback and make it easier for the presenter to understand how to improve on his or her performance in future.
- Deliver the feedback in person (vs by email) once the combined Feedback form is completed. Presenters may have further questions on how to interpret the feedback or how to improve on their own performance and should have the opportunity to get guidance and coaching on that during the feedback meeting to optimize the learning opportunity.