I’m often asked what are the most important personal development activities that organizations and their people are using these days. Well, to answer that question, I’ve had a look at my biggest clients, many of them worldwide world-class clients, to see what they do and I’ve discovered that the main activities fall into 9 categories. It’s these 10 categories that I’d like to share with you in a little bit of detail.
1.On the Job Training
This may come as a surprise to you, but most organizations these days still regard on-the-job training as a primary personal development activity and sometimes it’s top of the list when it comes to the percentage of importance of activities that organizations give to personal development.
2. Face-to-Face Courses and Workshops
Live action packed training events where the individual is involved with other individuals in a learning and development experience, designed to give them knowledge skills practice fresh insights competence and confidence in achieving new capabilities so I’ve mentioned their number to the face-to-face live training and courses of course these days.
3. Distance Learning
Distance learning and Virtual learning becomes even more important to organizations and their people because these can be extremely powerful and very cost effective personal development activities. Many organizations are using webinars, virtual classrooms, virtual learning environments, communities of online learning and other distance learning approaches to give people the freedom and the flexibility to attend personal development activities of this sort, either in their own time outside of work or at work.
4. The use of E-Learning
E-learning can encompass many different activities these days. It could be a conventional e-learning program that the individual will sit down and work through on their own, or it might be a synchronous e-learning activity a trainer and instructor go through the e-learning at the same time with that either just that person or others that are in that e-learning group.
Coaching is a word that is familiar to most of us. Most of us would regard coaching as a one-to-one involvement, maybe from a person’s manager or from the individuals’ peer group or from a specialist. A coach is an individual that is going to meet face-to-face and have a one-to-one coaching conversations with the individual.
There are of course other forms of coaching available these days. This includes e-coaching, whereby the coach and the coachee and undertake coaching by way of emails. This type of coaching is a-synchronous and very powerful for those who are geographically apart. You can have telephone coaching which is where the coach telephones the individual and coaches them over the telephone or via a skype call.
6. Learning and Development Resources
There is a whole variety of learning resources and learning instruments that a person can very easily access these days. These include the use of books, e-books, articles, blogs, audio blogs and video blogs. An individual can choose the best ones that suit their own particular learning style and there are almost too many of those to mention!
7. The use of jobs
The use of jobs or job rotation can introduce an individual to different areas of work and expose them to different parts of a business or an organization. It enables them to take on board different parts of the business and different working styles or different working cultures. This can be extremely helpful if undertaken over a planned period of time.
8. Involvement in Projects
Involvement in projects doesn’t necessarily mean that the person undertaking the personal development becomes a project manager or project leader. It means that they’ve given the opportunity to participate in a project which they can do over and above their day job and in which they will learn, gain and grow a set of skills over and beyond what they are using in their day-to-day work.
I cannot emphasize too much the use of a Mentor in helping to provide an external prospective to the individual undertaking the personal development. The mentor could be someone outside of the organization that the individual themselves finds or it might be their manager or another individual in the business or another part of the organization. This person plays a mentoring role for that particular individual to help them grow and progress toward a longer term career development aspiration.