- Who should be doing what training?
- What sort of professional development would be best?
- Should you even worry about personal development opportunities?
It can get confusing.
But make no mistake… there is a definite impact on your business from either providing, or not providing, professional and personal development for staff.
Research into the Millennial (Gen Y) cohort clearly shows that staff who don’t feel as though they are improving their skills won’t stay around in your business. At least the good ones won’t!
And it’s not only Gen Y who feel like that. Many people want to improve themselves and feel more productive.
Not satisfied = disengaged workforce
If your team don’t feel like they are valued or aren’t getting a sense of achievement from their work (including their professional and personal development) you can expect to see classic symptoms of a disengaged workforce such as:
- No initiative, lacking motivation to do their job
- Lack of interest in helping others
- Finding fault with others, or with the way the business operates
- Poor attendance
- Lack of learning
From experience working with many businesses here are a few thoughts that are probably relevant for you, your team and your business.
(1) Offer a dual track development journey
A practical approach to maximising the employee experience, as well as creating a high-performance team, is to implement a Dual Track Development Journey. The dual track is:
Role-Based development combined with Career-Based development
Role-based development includes essential and advanced skills and knowledge required to improve performance in the role the team member now holds.
Career-based development addresses a selected number of development options drawn from a suite of capabilities deemed important for the career path of the individual.
Here are some learning options you could include in a development plan:
- Studying an online course (e.g. a tutorial on Lynda or free MOOC from a university).
- Attending external training courses.
- Signing up for ecourses delivered via email.
- Individual activities focusing on specific skills.
- Receiving mentoring from a suitable colleague.
- Attending specific industry events to learn from industry leaders and influencers.
- Reading relevant books or ‘thought leader’ resources (and sharing their insights with others).
- Receiving regular coaching from their team leader.
- Learning more about the business and your clients by shadowing colleagues in various parts of the business or spending time onsite with clients.
Within the development journey it’s important to create and maintain the balance of expectations for team members. It could be easy for them to develop a sense of entitlement; that they should be able to access every development opportunity that is available.
However, some opportunities, especially career-based options, should be available to those who earn it. That is, to team members who are reaching predefined performance standards.
(2) Create escalating leadership opportunities
In combination with the Dual Track Development Journey it could also be a good idea to establish a variety of leadership-related development opportunities.
For example, this path could provide opportunities with increasing levels of responsibility, such as:
Level 1: Outstanding performance in own role (an essential first step)
Level 2: Participate in company projects
Level 3: Take the lead on certain projects
Level 4: Influence future projects
Want to discover more?
If you would like to discuss these ideas further or get some professional insight into how you can introduce these ideas into your organisation please get in touch to request a complimentary, 45-minute consultation. We’d love to speak with you. Contact us to find out more.