Gallup's data regarding engagement in the workplace dates only a few years back – and it's devastating. Their research shows that 13% of employees are engaged at work. The rest are working because they have to, and they're not giving their best.
As a CEO, you should be worried about these numbers. They mean that most companies lack a lot – not just a happy worker who smiles at peers. Lack of engagement can severely impact people's productivity and with it, ruin everything from the quality of customer service to the profits of a company.
Reasons to Invest in Employees’ Personal Development
Let's consider Hay Group's research data next. Their research shows that companies with high engagement scores have a revenue stream that's around 4.5 times higher compared to companies with a low score.
If you dislike how your company progresses and can't find it somewhere at the top, then you definitely need to reconsider your development strategies. People who are allowed to thrive personally in the workplace are more engaged and interested in their work.
It's not all about paying the right salary or providing the tools people need to complete their work. People need to be willing to work, to love their job, and be motivated to fulfill the company's goals. Generally speaking, there are 5 main benefits why you should be investing in personal development:
- Helps you remain competitive. Research shows that not investing in employee training is a risky business. This same research indicates that investments in training lead up to 24% higher profit margins for your company.
- No skill shortage. Instead of trying to find people for every new task the company has, why not train and motivate your current employees to complete it? Offering them extra money for the extra work is one motivator, but developing personally is an extra.
- Increased motivation and morale. Morale is important for productivity in the workplace. If you invest in the personal development of your team, they’ll know what to expect if they work for you: they’ll be able to develop further and advance more in their career.
- Improved cross-departmental collaboration. When employees boost their soft skills and develop personally, this will significantly boost cross-departmental collaboration. People will start collaborating, join forces, and they’ll be more effective as a team.
- Lower employee turnover. It's hard to keep good employees on board today. Many companies will want to grab employees with high-quality skills. Not helping them develop is pushing them toward other choices. Research shows that 40% of employees with poor training are highly likely to leave the company within a year.
Personal development trips that would boost employees’ engagement
Now that you know how beneficial this can be, let’s take a look at what actions you can take to make it happen.
1. Make individual development plans for your employees
Since you’re aiming to boost the personal development of people, it's only natural that you have to do it individually. People can only reach their full potential if they can develop personally based on their individual needs, skills, and qualifications. It makes for a lot of work, but focusing on each person individually can do wonders for your company.
Lucky for you, there are some templates and guidelines for creating personal development plans. According to Perkbox’s useful guide, people need to be prepared to analyze their strength and weaknesses, as well as tackle questions like:
- Are you under-qualified?
- Do you need extra training?
Based on people's answers, the job of your managers or yours as a CEO is to help build successful personal development plans for them. These are based on the individual's role or purpose in the company, their needs in terms of developments, their skills, and knowledge, etc.
In most cases, there’ll be a lot of room for improvement. TheLearningWave has reported that 74% of employees do not feel like they're reaching their full potential. Imagine how great your team would work if all of them can feel like they do!
2. Offer professional training whenever necessary – and possible
Training is not a one-time thing for an employee, or at least it shouldn’t be. Many companies today put their new employees into training to teach them how the company works, and forget about them afterward. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
People learn constantly and as their CEO, it is your job to give them growth opportunities. To set them up for success and with it, set the company on the right path, you need to provide them with the resources needed to do their jobs. This doesn't just include tools, but it also includes proper training.
Ideally, you should base your training on personal development plans and your company’s goals.
3. Work on your managers’ development first
As a CEO, you’re probably not directly included in your employees’ management. You have managers for that, but are you certain that they’re doing the right job.
In a successful company, personal development begins at the highest levels. Your managers need to be skilled and trained to be able to guide and train employees underneath them. If you want your employees managed properly, you need to put true leaders into place – and help them become better all the time.
Even leaders need to keep learning for the company to thrive.
4. Give your employees a voice
When your company does not communicate with and listen to its employees, it’s putting a barrier between them and their personal development. It’s as simple as that – you cannot develop personally in a place where you have no voice.
To that end, you need to clearly broadcast your goals and ideas and share them with the employees. Transparency is highly motivating in the workplace. But, in addition to sharing information and expecting people to listen to your guidelines, you also need to learn to listen.
Oftentimes, leaders are amazed at how beneficial the opinions and reasoning of employees can be.
5. Offer feedback and recognize their work
Employee feedback and recognition are vital for enabling their growth. People need to know that they did a good job. How else will they learn about their strengths and weaknesses, and why would they be willing to keep working on themselves if it makes no impact or changes?
By offering feedback, both good and bad, you’re helping them track their development. By recognizing their successes and even just their effort to improve, you’re encouraging their growth.
6. Accentuate people’s soft skills
LinkedIn, one of the most professional social platforms at the moment, found that 91% of professionals believe that soft skills are important for recruiting and HR. This means that most employers today are more likely to hire people whose soft skills include leadership, teamwork, time management, and collaboration.
This isn’t something people are born with – it’s something they learn. Personal development is strongly affected by people’s soft skills. They take years to learn and are complex, but by working on them, people develop on a personal and professional level. That being said, do your best to encourage the development of soft skills in your company.
7. Facilitate employee wellbeing
Personal development is not only connected to people’s work skill and their line of business. This is highly dependent on how people feel on a personal level, how healthy they are, and whether or not they have good practices in life.
If you want your team to develop personally, you need to allow them to do so. Facilitating their wellbeing is a very useful method for personal development. This is why grand companies select a free time for employees to relax in fun rooms, do some exercise in work gyms, and offer days off to allow them to rest and refuel.
There are many things that your company can do to promote wellbeing in the workplace. This should not be limited to giving people vacation days. Some of the ways to facilitate employee wellbeing in your company include:
- Plants in the office. Plants have a soothing effect on people. They allow us to connect with nature and offer an external stimulus for the brain. Not to mention, they do wonders for the office decor.
- Splashes of color. Dull offices that are too dark, too hot or cold, are not really productive for people who spend hours crammed in them. To boost people’s energy and suppress melatonin, go for bright colors, big windows, and some clear air.
- Contribute to gym memberships. Whether you have an in-office gym or pay membership to your employees, this is a great way to boost their well-being and promote their active life.
- Healthy food options. Have you heard of brain food, snacks that help people focus better and be more productive? Healthy food can greatly affect those who consume it – in a positive way. If you want to boost productivity and keep your staff healthy and energized, throw away that junk food-filled vending machine and provide them with healthy meals.
Employee personal development is not a one-time thing. You can’t pursue it once and get it over with. Keep in mind that this is a long-term initiative, and it’s crucial for your business’ success.
Guest post courtesy of Daniel Quintero