Why personal development is important for business is a question that historically has been ignored or downplayed. Nevertheless, the current millennial generation takes their personal growth into account too, perhaps more than their previous generations of workforces. Thus, organizations need to recognize that the personal development of staff is as important as the development of the business itself.
Personal development includes activities that improve awareness, and identity, develop talents and potential, build clarity for vision, build and set aim in life to maximize human potential. Since personal development is closely related to your needs, hence it helps to intrinsically motivate employees to work on their goals and build a positive attitude towards work. Without any personal development, while working, employees can lose motivation and become unengaged, which can directly impact productivity, morale, and ultimately the organization’s goals.
Therefore, organizations need to invest in the tools and resources that enable them to facilitate the professional as well as the personal development of their employees. Moreover, if personal and organizational developments are integrated, organizations tend to achieve better results and employees feel more satisfied.
One of the major issues for employees is that even though current organizational practices are full of potential for learning processes, many employees are not aware of their own personal learning and development goals. Furthermore, they feel a barrier to finding appropriate learning processes that will help them to lead to those personal goals.
To counter this issue, employees and organizations can use a strength intervention approach to develop personal development.
Most personal developments in organizations use a deficit approach to identify weakness and work on them. A strength approach, proposed by Seligman and Peterson (2004), often works better as it works on getting positive outcomes. Those outcomes include feelings of competency, efficacy, rapid learning curves and mastery, etc.
On the basis of work by Quinlan et al (2012), the strength intervention approach works in a three-step process:
- Identification of strengths:
At first, employees need to be self-aware of their current strengths.
For this purpose, employees can either use SWOT analysis with their teammates, where they write strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that they identify for themselves, as well as for others.
The common strengths identified by both, them as well as their teammates, can be highlighted as their strongest traits.Another method to be aware of the strengths is by answering the following two questions:
- Which experience at work made you feel most energized?
- What could be a few individual strengths that were responsible for this experience?
- Developments of strengths:
The next step includes the development of strengths by employees themselves.
For this purpose, their personal plans could be either about the general application of strengths in daily activities or about the specific use of strengths to deal with difficult tasks at work or home.
Employees can also seek help from their managers as:
- Managers can also fill the role of mentors to guide employee’s personal growth
- Managers can provide them enough resources to work on their personal goals, remember the more resources they get, the better their personal goals resonate within them.
- Usage of strengths:
How employees use their personal development goals or skills is entirely up to them.
What organizations can do is build a new job-skill fit that matches their current skills. In other words, an organization can help employees to use their personal skills for them.
A task analysis can help in this, where employees are asked to decide what element of their job they want to craft in line with their strengths. This again can serve as the input for another personal plan for strengths use.
- To strengthen the commitment of employees in their development process, ask employees to share their personal development plans with their teammates.
Personal development is a crucial aspect of life with many far‑reaching benefits. Time and resources spent on developing your and your employee’s personal development do have a good return in terms of professional growth. One of the best approaches to build this personal development is through an ‘identify and use approach’ where employees identify their strengths and build upon them. Joyup genie is the platform that helps employees to work on their personal development with an action-oriented approach.