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Why is personal development so important in the workplace?

August 25, 2023
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With so much of our lives being spent at work, it’s only natural that employees put so much of themselves into their jobs. Our personality becomes intertwined with what we do — so we care about it immensely. It’s no wonder, then, that employees expect their workplaces to care for them just as much.

Of course, stagnating benefits no one. That’s why so many businesses today are investing in the personal and professional development of their employees. But what are the advantages of a personal development plan in the workplace? 

What is personal development?

Personal development is an individual’s journey to enhancing their abilities. It’s a continuous process that involves assessing goals, building skills, and improving on weaknesses. Development would look different to every individual based on their goals and values: learning new skills, working towards a promotion, taking on new responsibilities in a role, or even moving sideways to another role, are all examples of personal development.

What are the organisational benefits of personal development in the workplace?

Helping your employees grow is not simply a nice-to-have — it’s absolutely essential in today’s world. Not only are your employees expecting it, but it also provides many benefits to your organisation.

Further reading: Learn how to support your employees’ personal development

1. Enhanced engagement

Employee engagement describes the level of enthusiasm and dedication your staff feels toward their job. As you can imagine, it is one of the most important predictors of performance, productivity, satisfaction, and retention. Think about it — if you’re excited about what you do, you’re going to do a much better job than if you were bored or unhappy.

With 76% believing development opportunities are one of the most important elements of company culture — which has a significant impact on engagement — it’s not surprising that employees are 15% more engaged when their development is supported.

2. Lower employee turnover

Most businesses today are concerned with employee turnover. Finding talent is extremely difficult — not to mention expensive — so, once you’ve hired the perfect fit, you really want to keep them with you. Unfortunately, the turnover rate today stands at a whopping 47%, so organisations must seriously consider their strategy to increase retention.

It is an established fact that workers who feel like their personal development is supported by their managers are more likely to be satisfied with their job. As a result, companies have a 7% higher retention rate at the 3-year mark with employees who have learned skills on the job.

3. More dynamic teams

Teamwork is central to the success of any organisation. It’s not just about that particular trait, though. Teams are more engaging when they are dynamic and limber, and supporting development allows for more creativity, tolerance, and innovation — all making a team more effective.

Personal development is key for having a passionate and motivated team, as everyone wants to get to the best result together and grow professionally.

4. Increased agility

Learning and growing is not only beneficial for teams — it teaches individuals to be more open to change and increases flexibility. In today’s fast-paced world, workplaces must be able to adjust quickly to changes in the market, ways of working, and best practices. They have to embrace innovation to stay current in their field and maintain a competitive offering. Employees who keep developing progress with the time, and therefore help your business follow suit.

5. Better leadership

With 59% of managers who oversee one to two employees reporting having no training at all (and 41% for those overseeing three to five employees), it’s glaringly obvious that leaders could benefit from more guidance and support. By investing in the development of managers, you’re not only going to aid their career, but also their team’s success.

It doesn’t end there, though. An organisation that truly cares about employee employee development from the get-go can rely on its workers to progress within the company and become managers themselves. You’re going to save on recruitment, but also receive much more well-rounded managers.

Further reading: Learn how to effectively upskill new managers

6. Higher performance

As previously mentioned, your employees want to do the best job possible. That’s why it’s so frustrating when companies don’t tap into their fullest potential! In fact, 74% of workers believe they aren’t reaching their full potential at work because of lack of development opportunities.

Continuously supporting your employees’ growth, skills, and knowledge means they would be better equipped to handle any responsibility, leading to improved productivity and performance.

Further reading: How to create an Employee Development Plan (EDP)

Want to learn how Thrive can help you support your employees’ development? Book a demo with us today.

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