Organizations invest enormous amounts of time, effort and money in the personal development of employees, yet results are uneven at best. Can employees help themselves get further along?
The process of personal development, with its objectives, support structures, training tools, feedback sessions and reviews can be painful. Even mature businesses with time-honoured procedures can fail to consistently get real value out of it.
For all of the investment that businesses put into personal development, there is not a lot of impact in the end. The fundamental problem is not one of motivation; no organization wants its employees to languish uninspired and unguided, they want them to turn up every day full of vigour and ready for any challenge that lies ahead. More probably, failure lies in the process – or lack of it – and an over reliance on individual line managers, HR staff, or coaches to provide the support and direction for employees to follow.
The first and most important thing to keep in mind is that personal development needs a context or framework in order to deliver value. This starts with an overview of organizational objectives and a job description, both of which provide direction for the developmental process. Every employee needs to understand: the short and long term goals of the business and of the department they directly work in. The parameters of their role and what success looks like and how to navigate their career path.
Without this clarity, employees will struggle to align their learning with the needs of the business – leading to wasted resources and frustration across all parties. People work with more enthusiasm when they have control of their careers and can trace a clear path up the ladder — this gives them the confidence of knowing they are in the driving seat.