Personal Development. There is a lot of buzz around that phrase, especially now that we have entered the new year. Everyone is busy trying to “better” themselves in their personal life, but can it help in the workplace?
Often times businesses and companies attempt to offer personal development for their staff in the hopes that it will help them professionally.
However, more often than not these well intentioned activities end up becoming more of a burden on employees than beneficial.
In an article written for Forbes, Joseph Folkman argued that one reason that development plans in the workplace aren’t always successful is due to the fact that “they are not driven by the individual.”
Another study states personal development can lead to happy employees who are better able to tackle issues, solve problems, and create new ideas in the workplace.
Three Ways to Have Meaningful Personal Development at Work
Create a Positive Learning Culture
Author, investor and entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki stated that we should always “invest first in our education: In reality, the only real asset you have is your mind, the most powerful tool we have dominion over.” Therefore, employers should strive to offer opportunities for learning to occur to help build this culture of learning.
Whether it is a conference, on-site as well as off-site training, or providing an incentive, such as paying for successful completion of courses or returning to college for higher education.
These opportunities allow for growth that can be better tailored to individuals to aid in strengthening and growing skills in a rapidly changing world. Thus turning them into not only a more effective employee, but better capable to help guide the business forward.
Checking in regularly with employees helps build positive relationships between staff. It connects the team and allows for everyone to feel safe and comfortable sharing their ideas.
Having regular meetings is one way to get together to analyze and discuss improvement plans for the business as well as its staff.
When everyone feels like they have had a chance to contribute and share their viewpoints, it is easier to have staff buy into a special activity, process, or change.
Create a Growth Plan
Encourage all staff to create a plan of action for personal growth and attach a timetable to it.
This will help staff feel more goal oriented and reduce any lack of motivation and low morale there might be on the team.
Having something to work towards, enriches the lives of staff leading to higher productivity.
As leaders, employers should be finding ways to provide personal development that will lead to growth by taking into consideration staff interest, needs, and offering more opportunities for education.