No matter where someone is in their life, thinking about personal development is always a good idea. Whether they just want to do better at their workplace or are career-driven and are striving to climb the corporate ladder, giving ample attention to learning and improving is the only way to do it.
Encouraging personal development in the workplace benefits both the employer and the employee. Showing your employees that you care about their goals and ambitions is a practice that boosts their morale and happiness at the workplace. At the same time, their development is also in your favor. Here are a few pieces of advice on encouraging employees’ personal development so that both parties will be able to reap all the benefits.
Give them a sense of direction and self-awareness
Not everyone is overtly showing interest in self-development. This does not necessarily mean that they are disinterested in moving forward. What some employees might be lacking is simply a sense of direction. Not being fully aware of their skills and values as well as the options they have regarding their future might render them unable to make an effort. So, what you can do for them is help them gain a sense of direction. Encourage self-awareness in the workplace. Offer your employees personality assessment that will shed light on their strengths and weaknesses. These assessments will help them understand themselves better and realize what they should focus on. In addition, discussing the results together with their colleagues will also help them understand each other better and improve their interpersonal relations.
Talk to them about their goals and create a personal development plan
The only way to achieve our goals is if we have them in the first place. Make sure you talk to your employees about their professional as well as personal goals. Encourage them to set specific goals they will be able to work towards step by step. Ask them about the particular skills they are interested in improving and make sure you give them opportunities to do so. Showing interest in your employees’ personal goals will make them feel valued and they will be motivated to work harder towards those goals. Making use of PDPs (personal development plans) might be a good idea, too.
Give them the opportunity to learn and provide them with resources
Encouraging your employees to work on themselves is important for sure, but it will all be futile if you do not provide them with the time and resources to do so. Personal development deserves its own time. Giving employees the opportunity to participate in professional training from the moment they enter your company should go without saying. But you should not neglect personal development either. Offering books and online resources not only related to their profession is a good idea. It’s an even better idea to regularly give them the opportunity to participate in seminars and courses. Offer your employees the option of enrolling in online personal development courses and they will appreciate your efforts.
Track their progress and check up on them
It’s important to check on your employees regularly. You should always keep an eye on their progress in order to notice if everything is working out. You should also talk to your employees openly about their progress and ask them how they are feeling and whether there is something they have been struggling with, whether professionally or personally. Keeping track of your employees’ progress with regard to their personal development goals will allow you to identify if your employee has the right resources or you need to change your approach.
Keep communication channels open and give them feedback
Keeping clear communication channels between employer and employee is of the utmost importance for a variety of reasons. If communication is not direct for any reason or your employees are reluctant to talk to you, it will be difficult both for you to help them progress and for them to seek help when they need it. It will also pose an obstacle when it comes to communicating feedback. Feedback is going to be crucial to the effectiveness of your employees’ self-development efforts. It is impossible for them to know what area they are lacking in if they do not receive honest feedback on their performance. You need to make them understand that both of you have a common goal and even if they still have things they need to improve on, they should look at feedback as objectively as possible.
Personal and professional development are intertwined in many ways. Allowing employees to work on their personal development will give them an accurate picture of their skills and values. Identifying their weaknesses will empower them to work on them and perform better at work. Personal skills like social skills, time management skills, and emotional intelligence benefit us both in our private lives and in our career ambitions. Make sure you give your employees the right incentives and they will recognize the benefits of working on themselves.
Aside from primary area of interest and expertise in e-marketing with Mediagurus, Ian could be tagged also as a passionate sports fan, nature, and photography enthusiast, always trying to keep up to date with tech innovations and development.