What influences personal development?
That’s a big question, so in order to tackle it I’m going to look at personal development within the context 0f working for an organization which has employees and those employees need to be involved in personal development. So in my view there are four key influences and I am going to go through each one of them very briefly.
Does the organization itself promote a Learning and Development culture? Is it a learning organization? Is it an organization which seeks to continuously improve and an organisation that wants to be best in class? Does the organisation want to embrace all of the best, in terms of doing business effectively?
These days, with its customers in its marketplace, an organization needs to embrace new initiatives and new ways of operating. It needs to be open-minded and want to employ managers and individuals who will constantly help it to develop and improve for long-term success. Unless the organization has this mind-set, it will not be prepared to focus on the other three key influences.
2. The Management
Managers at all levels need to be equipped to be good coaches and trainers of their people, and to undertake good performance reviews to help their individuals construct really good personal development plans. However, it is vitally important that they are rewarded for doing so.
Most managers are rewarded for getting results, and the metrics that surround those results are mostly numeric, understandably. Very few managers and organizations that I deal with have received financial reward for their concentration on the personal development of their people but it is a critical piece in the organization’s success.
Managers may just ignore the personal development of their people and just focus on themselves and their technical skills and ability and doing a good job individually. If they are rewarded for it, and they know how to do it, they will attend to the development of their people.
Managers being equipped and rewarding is key to the success of personal development and organizations.
3. Recruiting the Right Employees
The organization has to have the right employee proposition when it comes to recruiting new people.
It needs to deliberately hold out the banner that says;
We want to attract individuals dedicated to their own personal growth and development. We want to attract individuals that want to work in a learning environment. We want to attract individuals who are ambitious to be the best people they can be in their jobs at all levels. We want to attract individuals that want to contribute openly to our success as a business. We want to actively attract learning individuals, not those that just look to the organization to give them all the rewards that they’re looking for and to look after their future growth and career aspirations.
The employee proposition part of getting the right people into the business is to make sure that you are attracting those that are invested heavily in their own personal development.
4. Infrastructure, Resources and Systems
The organization needs to provide the infrastructure, resources and systems to enable people to undertake personal development.
They need to have dedicated resources to enable the individual to receive on-the-job training and coaching in company courses, webinars, virtual learning environments and e-learning. The individual needs to have access to a whole range of learning development resources, both downloadable and hardcopies, such as books, e-books, videos, blogs, audio blogs and articles, the list is endless!
The organisation needs to allow the opportunity for job shadowing, taking part in projects to broaden the skills and the knowledge and abilities of their people and they also need to provide mentors. Mentors can be people within the business, not their direct line manager, but others that might be able to guide them in their own personal growth and development.
So there we have the four influences;
2. The Management
3. Recruiting the right employees
4. Infrastructure, resources and systems
Get those four right and you do have a very colourful influence on the topic of personal development within an organization.