New York Times best-selling author, John C. Maxwell once wrote, “Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it’s almost always due to personal growth.”[i] Personal development, or the continual process of developing oneself in order to achieve full potential, plays a major role in how engaged an employee will be. As an employee grows professionally, they begin to feel more passionate about the work they do. In return, the employee becomes more motivated to learn and grow. The more an employee wants to grow, the more engaged they will be.[ii]
Employee engagement is so important. Gallup’s new “State of the Global Workplace” report revealed that only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs, and 85% of employees are functioning below their potential, in terms of both their value to employers and the sense of fulfillment they derive from their work.[iii] To address this concerning workplace issue, here are 3 ways to create a culture of employee-driven personal development. These tips are designed to help put employees in the best position for success.
Create a Vision
The first way to create a culture of personal development is to create a vision. To help create a vision, it is important that managers understand what the employee’s goals are. Once knowing the employee’s goals, the manager can integrate the goals of the organization, and work together to map out a career path. It is important that the framework of the vision aligns with the organization’s direction to help guide the employee on their journey. [iv] Allyson Felix, London Olympic athlete, once said “I am a big believer in visualization. I run through my races mentally so that I feel even more prepared.”[v] When an employee sees the outline of their growth within the organization, they are more likely to remain engaged with a clear understanding of their purpose within the organization.
Put Vision into Action
The second way to create a culture of personal development is to show employees how to put their strategic vision into action. Once the plan is mapped out, the next step is putting it into action. Creating an action plan can be different for every employee, but it’s important to encourage and support their journey. According to a recent survey from the American Psychological Association, supervisor support for career development improves how employees view their future at an organization. 43% said they’d remain with their employer because of development opportunities; of those without it, only 7% felt the same way.[vi] There are multiple ways that managers can support their employees, but one of the most effective ways is to provide the necessary resources. Normally, that involves providing training. Whether that be soft skills training, leadership development, or product training. It is important that employees are given autonomy, resources, and tools to grow.
Create Vision Check-Ins
The third way to create a culture of personal development is to provide check-ins on the employee journey. Sometimes it is easy for projects to get in the way of the bigger picture. Frustration and miscommunication in the workplace happen, and it’s important that managers are prepared to help employees over those hurdles. Paul Hawken, author, and activist, once said, “Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.”[vii] By having regular check-ins, employees are better able to communicate their concerns, better formulate solutions to problems, and it also serves as a time to give and receive feedback. The goal of the check-ins is to keep the employee on the right track for success.
For more on creating a culture of personal development, visit our Organizational Development page.
[i] “15 Personal Development Quotes to Help You Invest in Yourself.” SUCCESS, 31 July 2018, www.success.com/15-personal-development-quotes-to-help-you-invest-in-yourself/
[ii] “Why Is Personal Growth so Important?” World Minded, worldminded.com/why-is-personal-growth-so-imortant/
[iii] Gallup, Inc. “Global Productivity Hinges on Human Capital Development.” Gallup.com, 22 Jan. 2018, www.gallup.com/workplace/236207/global-productivity-hinges-human-capital-development.aspx
[iv] Freifeld, Lorri. “5 Career Development Essentials.” Training Magazine, 30 Aug. 2018, trainingmag.com/5-career-development-essentials/
[v] “5 Inspirational Career Quotes for Your Career from 2012.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 10 Dec. 2012, www.businessinsider.com/5-inspirational-career-quotes-for-your-career-from-2012-2013-7
[vi] Ezzat, Mohamed. “A Career Development Support System.” Main, ASTD Press, 7 Mar. 2018, www.td.org/magazines/td-magazine/a-career-development-support-system
[vii] Anderson, Chris. “16 Management Quotes from The Top Managers in The World.” Smart Business Trends, 20 Oct. 2015, smartbusinesstrends.com/16-management-quotes/