Career tip from Maria Nazarova, MBA
There are different opinions about personnel development. Some say, that it is not the company responsibility, but each individual should be held responsible for maintaining his / her skills and knowledge up-to-date. Others – find it extremely important to invest into the constant professional growth of the staff. The research clearly says that investing into employee development strongly correlates with increased engagement and improved performance.*
If the facts indicate the need for staff development, why are so many managers hesitant and invest so little time? Perhaps, there is a couple of challenges associated with such “investment”: one needs to understand the needs and desires of the staff-members, have sufficient resources (personal time, training budgets, development tools and processes, etc.) and be ready to hold conversations when your team members ask for something, which you not always can or want to offer (e.g. expensive long-term courses, promotion (or) salary increase as a result of training-driven know-how extension, etc.). So you need to make experience with this topic to do it well.
Unlike many other sources offering tips and hints, I would recommend you to start with acknowledging where you currently are. You can do it through asking yourself the following simple questions:
Write down your answers – it’s more efficient than just thinking. Going honestly through these questions and the conversation you have in mind might open up new opportunities for you: you can always keep the status quo or you can decide to create something tangible and meaningful with and for your team. Such decision might have a certain price to pay – you will have to give up your comfort, might face some resistance or feel insecure, but it also might help you to achieve a different quality of results, feeling joy, fulfillment and being holistic.
If you are ready to try new things out, consider these points:
And finally, there is no guarantee that if you start investing into staff development, you will see immediate change in business results or employee attitude. But even making small steps will gradually contribute to creating new quality of working atmosphere and start shaping the working culture. Any realized strategy is definitely better than the intended one! So give it a try!
* Harvard business review analytic services (2013) “The Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance”. Available at: hbr.org/resources/pdfs/comm/achievers/hbr_achievers_report_sep13.pdf [Accessed: 05 Mar 2017].