Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Every company has its own set of priorities, and to take it to the next level, finding out which initiatives will make a significant impact can be challenging. But what makes a business truly stand out isn’t the products or services it sells or offers but the people in it.
Moreover, the people in your company crave more opportunities for their personal development. Employees who have access to self-development opportunities are 15% more engaged. Taking care of your employees doesn’t mean offering them to go out for lunch once a week or fun, happy hours.
Think of employee development as a long-term initiative. This post will walk you through personal development, the importance of personal development in a team, and the five ways to improve employee development at your company.
At its core, it’s a lifelong process that lets you assess your life goals to fulfill your potential. It enables you to be more proactive in taking charge of your actions. You may not always reach your goals, but you could lead a more fulfilling life since you already have your purpose defined.
To work on personal development, one needs to embrace specific life improvement skills. These are usually the traits and qualities you’ve gained through education or training. Tailor a great personal development plan for you and your team now.
Here are some common personal development skills:
- Excellent communication allows you to convey your thoughts clearly and gain more confidence.
- Intrapersonal skills let you build meaningful relationships and make a good impression on others.
- Excellent problem-solving skills let you find the best solutions every time you encounter a road bump or obstacle.
- Good adaptability skills allow you to adjust to new things quickly and stay calm in difficult situations.
- Leadership skills enable you to guide others, boost your morale, and build self-confidence.
Helping your staff with their personal development assists them in the road to self-actualization or the person they’re capable of becoming.
So, how will this impact your company and the rest of your team?
- Motivation. Fulfilled employees are more likely to become motivated to put their best work forward.
- Loyalty. If your team members see that you’re willing to invest in them, they’re also likely to invest in you.
- Productivity. By investing in the personal development of your team, you’ll begin to notice how proactive engagement in your company. They’re also more likely to put in the effort. The way people feel will eventually affect how they work. How productive they will be and how they’ll relate with other people.
The motivation and well-being of your employees underline their job performance. However, this cannot be achieved without self-awareness.
Giving employees personality assessments is an objective, and it’s a great way to help them boost their self-awareness by letting them analyze the different aspects of their personalities.
Also, you need to know their strong points and what areas they need to focus on to boost personal development.
In the same way, setting clear goals and objectives are also important. Retention rates are 34% higher on companies that provide employee development opportunities. You and your team need to identify what you want to achieve actively and then use this as a metric to measure your success.
For instance, managers can share the goals of the overall department and then guide employees to reflect on their work. Are they ready to take on a different project? What areas do they need to improve, and how can you help them?
Make sure that you set SMART goals- specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. You can also try using a goal-setting worksheet to formalize the discussion. Include relevant development activities that will set employees up for success.
Take time to provide training to your employees on specific skills that they can use in helping team members become more proficient in their jobs.
Managers can do this by helping their employees identify key areas where they need training the most. Maybe some of the sales reps of your team have better cold calling skills, while some have to take a business writing class. The key here is helping your employees build the skill they want to succeed in their roles.
Another essential aspect is addressing any skill gaps that employees might have. HR reps and team managers should regularly meet with employees to discuss their job performance and areas in professional development that will benefit them and their company.
The conversation might include suggestions for improvement and show employees that they have a company that cares about them and their future. Besides, bouncing professional development ideas around the office will also empower employees to play an essential role in their program and encourage personal and professional growth.
A cohesive workforce is great with cross-departmental training that bridges the gap between cultures, provides employees to know more about the other parts of your business, and encourages empathy across the board.
But the thing is, most teams are not natural collaborators. So without a solid structure in place that helps your team connect, initiatives may run the risk of falling short.
Let’s say that your marketing department’s goal is to improve your company’s brand with new content but don’t always consult that with sales or customer service teams. If your marketing team isn’t fully aware of their customer’s pain points, the message won’t resonate. While this is just one instance, a collaboration problem can lead to detrimental results.
After the areas of development have been identified, the path leading to this development needs to be actively mapped out.
So, go with the 70/20/10 rule. Ideally, 70% should come from the job experience, 20% from other people, and 10% from coursework and training.
You also need to create formal training into the development plan, as most of the steps need to be integrated into the job itself or based on your relationships with other people.
Ideally, you should provide your employees with opportunities to educate them on the latest developments in training, technology, and the industry itself.
Besides providing your employees with leadership development and training, you also have to stay up-to-date on unique opportunities like local learning events and other online courses. You should also be able to provide for the entry and sign-up fees.
You should also organize monthly meetings with employees. Teach courses that let them learn a new skill and provide inputs on specific topics.
In the same way, the training should focus on honing more complex skills like advanced Excel tips or soft skills such as interpersonal communication. Employees will also appreciate the opportunity to learn these new skills and therefore diversify their capabilities.
Apart from that, it’s also an excellent opportunity to present employees with new challenges and put them in the trial and error phase in learning a new skill, reaching outside their comfort zones, department, and areas of expertise.
Make professional development resources at your employees’ fingertips, and provide tools readily available for their personal development.
Give off discount codes for employees to take assessments. It would help if you also considered providing them access to life coaches, as you would provide them with career coaches.
You should also create an online database that’s constantly updated and full of resources for their personal development. This resource includes articles, podcasts, videos, and so much more. The more available resources, the more your team will likely find something that resonates with them.
Provide Self-Development Incentives
As much as personal development is beneficial for your employees, it still takes a lot of initiative and motivation on their part. That’s why their ability to self-growth is a desirable skill of its own.
Employees also need to be encouraged to work on their self-development. Many companies these days have incentive programs fitted for that purpose. These incentive programs need to be:
- Effective: See that you reward valuable outcomes such as completing your agreed developmental goals.
- Desirable: This encourages your employees to adjust their behavior to get the rewards they want.
- Fair: The incentives that you offer need to be realistically achievable.
Companies need to implement processes that will help managers organize and assess the strengths and weaknesses of their employees on an ongoing basis.
Managers also need to communicate the results of these assessments regularly, either weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
So, there you have it. Promoting personal development in the office can benefit your company, your employees’ lives, and how they work.
Remember that self-development is a lifelong process that one needs to work upon and constantly improve. Focusing on developing these lifelong skills will allow you to reach your goals better. Good luck!
How Do You Promote Team Personal Development?
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