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An Overview Of Personal Development In The Workplace

‘Is there any personal development offered in this role?’ may be a question you’ve been asked by a potential candidate. Employees have no doubt seen ‘individual development’ listed among the benefits on job specifications too.

The term is vague though – any role could be said to help with someone’s growth and progression. Here, we outline precisely what personal development means, why it is important, and how to provide it in your workplace.

What is personal development?

This is where an employee consciously, and continuously, improves upon their skills and abilities at work. The employer also provides assistance with this. Personal development has its roots in psychology via Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The self-actualisation stage can be met via their job, so long as it gives them the opportunity and autonomy to achieve their full potential.

It’s such an important part of business because it allows employees to perform better in their roles, making them feel more satisfied. This should mean they’re less likely to seek growth elsewhere, reducing staff turnover. As a result, your company should yield higher returns.

Personal development: advantages for employers

Staff fulfilment isn’t the only way that personal development increases revenue. Part of the process requires employees to analyse their strengths and weaknesses. Doing so allows them to figure out not only how to improve on the former, but identify how to tackle the latter too. With self-enhancement in place, employees will be motivated as well as more efficient in their roles.

If the individual development you offer is successful and effective, then this will improve your company’s reputation. Word will spread, and you’ll likely find that there’s a wider pool of potential candidates when new roles become available. If you choose not to offer this, then you may find that staff become unsatisfied and leave your company – as many as two in three workers hand in their resignation due to a lack of learning and development opportunities.

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Personal development: benefits for employees

Job hunters are looking for self-advancement because it makes them more employable in the long term. It will give them a way to climb up the career ladder, which will also be beneficial to your business as you won’t have to continuously hire externally.

Their confidence will improve as well, and its benefits spread outside the workplace and into their personal life too. They might be able to make more balanced life decisions, feel more content generally, and have a clear vision of their future. Staff can be proactive in their own development, which will also show you how dedicated and invested they are in your business.

Personal development planning

Many employees are left disappointed when the development they were promised isn’t mentioned again once they start their role. Self-progression needs to be a priority, and a written account is the best way of ensuring it is achieved.

The created plan should be tailored to the individual. It will need to outline their strengths, weaknesses and areas to develop, and set achievable aims. These ought to be split into both long-term goals and the day-to-day tasks that will contribute to these. Remember to consider any challenges that may arise along the way, along with potential solutions.

Individual enhancements for managers

Managers are busy people, but that doesn’t mean they don’t also need to work on their own development. In fact, their influence on junior members of staff means that their progression is especially important. They set an example to your future leaders.

Focusing on their personal growth will provide them with a number of key skills. These include time management, communication, emotional intelligence, and leadership. They will also become ‘active listeners’, responding and dealing effectively with any issues that arise in their team.

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Self-development courses for managers

A great way to provide personal development is to allow managers to take a course that does exactly this. Bright Direction Training’s ILM Level 3 Diploma for Managers is ideal. Learners have the opportunity to develop in both a personal and professional sense. The diploma gives them all the necessary leadership and management skills to ease them into their role, and ensure they are successful at it.

This is a recognised qualification for self-development, and will enable your managers to be fully aware of their progression. They’ll learn how to lead and manage people effectively, and build working relationships, along with boosting other key related skills such as organising projects and dealing with finances.

All our courses approach training in a way that lets you build your own programme, putting control of their own personal growth in your managers’ hands.

Contact us today to discover how we can help your company nurture the team that will take you into a brighter future. Give us a call on 01204 859 859, email us at or fill out our contact form here.

Apprenticeships: the business benefits

With Brexit on everyone’s minds, there’s lots of concerned chat amongst business leaders about addressing skills shortages. But at the same time, fewer businesses are taking on apprentices – in fact, the latest figures show a 34 percent drop in apprenticeship starts.

This lack of engagement from businesses comes down to confusion around the Apprenticeship Levy – part of the government’s plan to increase the quality of apprenticeships and fund three million places for apprentices by 2020.

There were mixed reactions when it was announced, and over a year later, it’s still causing confusion. Businesses aren’t sure how to make the system work for them, and it’s overshadowing the many benefits of hiring apprentices.

People think the system is overcomplicated and an upheaval, consider it as a further tax on business, and think it will take away funds from other workplace training – but this is not necessarily the case.

The basics

If you’re an employer with an annual wage bill of over £3 million, then you’re required to contribute 0.5% of that bill to the cost of training, and if your annual wage bill is less than £3 million, then you’re not liable to pay the levy at all. All firms are eligible for government funding that can offset the costs, and the levy can in fact be used to train existing employees, not just to hire new ones. You can find further detail about the levy here.

Don’t be daunted

 Business leaders have been arguing that changes need to be made, and the government does appear to be listening. They’ve announced more flexibility for large employers (now able to transfer 10 per cent of apprenticeship funds to other businesses), and in the West Midlands, they’ve recently made a ‘skills deal’, which could unlock as much as £69 million for training, including hundreds of new apprenticeships.

Reforms to the apprenticeships system are an ongoing and lively issue, but in the meantime it’s crucial not to be put off.  When you’re busy running a business, trying to navigate the system might feel overwhelming, but there are companies that have been able to make the levy work for them, and have really benefited as a result. So, if you truly value learning and development, then it’s well worth pursuing.

Yes, you may need to contribute, but it’s a worthwhile investment, representing value for money when you consider the benefits of taking on apprentices, and the cost of alternative forms of recruitment.

Apprenticeships are clearly good for apprentices, giving them knowledge, skills and experience and the opportunity to earn while they learn. But it’s not a one-way street.

It’s cost-effective as a form of training, it addresses skills shortages (a definite concern with Brexit on the mind), and it’s good for staff retention, as there’s a tendency amongst apprentices to stay committed to the company they’ve trained with. Companies I’ve worked with have also cited staff morale as a plus point, with other team members able to see first-hand that the company is investing in its future.

Taking on apprentices can give you the chance to diversify your workforce, get a fresh perspective from new blood, and by supporting local talent, you’re also boosting the reputation of your business. It’s a win-win.

Don’t assume that apprenticeships aren’t right for you, or that they cost too much – if you haven’t got the time to get your head around how it works, then we’re here to help.

If you’d like to find out more, give us a call on 01204 859 859 or fill out our contact form here.

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