There has been a pretty deep-rooted resistance to personal development programs for employees for as long as business has existed. Something about spending more money, beyond the salaries, on your employees, sends a shudder down the spines of execs and shareholders. The usual meta, in which you hire the person for the job, they do the job and you pay them for the job, is certainly satisfactorily clean-cut, but ignores all of the nuances of the modern workplace and work market. In particular, how an employee is viewed these days not as a cog in the machine, but as a human being with potential and a personal life. The smart companies are starting to identify the fact that employees can actually be used for more than what their job title is and are making decisions which help employees to help themselves which, in the end, helps the company. So, without any more delay, let’s take a look at what personal development can help to achieve.
It’s not impossible that you work in an industry where you don’t care if employees quit. But most likely, it’s a pain if someone leaves. “The effect of an employee quitting is huge. Even if they give notice, their personal productivity will inevitably drop. If they don’t give notice, then the scrabble to fill the spot is an immense hassle. Before mentioning the amount of intake paperwork and preliminary training that usually comes with a new arrival”, notes Loretta Phillips, HR manager at LastMinuteWriting and Writinity. Ideally, you retain staff. Investing in them not only shows that you care about them, but it staves off any gnawing personal sense that they aren’t ‘growing’, a feeling which can drive them to seek new experiences at other companies.
In an ironic twist in cause and effect, training your current employees to become better, in whatever field they would most like to develop in, will actually attract a better cut of employees when you do need to hire. The best candidates will go for places with the best salary normally, but in the modern era ‘lifestyle’ and ‘company culture’ are scrutinized by most candidates. The best candidates want the companies which pay good money but also which are proven to care about employees which a personal development scheme will demonstrate loud and clear.
This is a tad bit counterintuitive but makes sense when you think about it. “It all comes down to the classic ‘you have to spend money to make money’ paradigm”, writes Nathan Sutton, tech editor at DraftBeyond and ResearchPapersUk. “In order to get the best results you need happy, intelligent and up-to-date employees, which a little bit of personal development work should work to ensure.” Personal development will mean that your employees get the best results for themselves and, consequentially, for you and your company as well.
When you begin a personal development program, your first thought ought to be, for what am I developing them. Partially, you’re looking to make them better at the job they already have. But in another sense, you are looking to develop them in a way which will help the company in the future which forces you to think about where the company will be in the future. This might lead to training in virtual reality tech, or in computer learning or something which is set to shake up your industry. By preparing your employees for this, you’re preparing your company too.
Employee engagement is another one of those things which will have a big impact on company success. Employees who like their job and actively want to be there everyday will bring so much of a higher quality of work as well as an attitude which can be infectious, leading to the improvement of the company as a whole.
So, despite the perceived negative impact of personal development schemes, companies can really benefit massively from these schemes. Hopefully this list has pointed out to you some of the biggest areas, so that you can get started without any sense of trepidation.