As the Millennial generation begins to assume leadership positions within organizations, supporting their growth and development, both personally and professionally, is crucial to attracting and retaining top talent. An area in business that is often overlooked is the focus on Personal Development of employees. Many companies do not always feel that fostering personal development is essential given the lack of clear ties to the bottom line, but the truth is that Professional Development and Personal Development are closely tied together. Supporting an individual’s need to grow personally will often lead to higher engagement, job satisfaction, and job performance.
Although it is not always easy to find ways to foster Personal and Professional Development together, and oftentimes the budget may not allow for many extra-curricular activities, there are many easy and cost-effective ways a business can encourage both personal and professional growth in its employees. Below are a few ways to do so:
- Sponsor or Compensate for Volunteerism – Employees often value having the opportunity to volunteer or donate time to a cause that is important to them, but sometimes find that life outside of work does not allow for time to do so. By offering employees the chance to volunteer on company time or even sponsoring a company-wide volunteer effort (such as Livingston County United Way’s Day of Caring!), it is a relatively inexpensive way to aid in improving employee satisfaction and morale.
- Provide Internal Mentorship Programs – A common reason that employees leave companies is due to poor training and poor management. Providing new employees with a direct line of communication to a mentor, and being purposeful about his or her career path within the company, can lead to superior performance as well as closer personal relationships between team members. In addition, allowing a senior-level employee to mentor junior staff can result in higher personal and professional satisfaction for the mentor.
- Sponsor Continuing Education – This is one of the easiest ways to foster growth and employee satisfaction within the workplace. While tuition reimbursement or expensive seminars are not always practical options for companies given potential costs and budgetary constraints, there are opportunities to find inexpensive or even complimentary seminars, training sessions, or webinars offered on various topics and trends specific to personal development. Examples of this may include training on soft skills, such as interpersonal and communication skills, conflict management, or even leadership.
- Encourage Employees to Serve on a Board – An effective setting for an employee to learn and network with other professionals is serving on a Board of Directors or committee. Non-profits, professional associations, or Chambers of Commerce are all great places to get involved, meet new people, and grow personally and professionally outside of an office setting. These opportunities allow for the chance to learn about building consensus and to work in a group with diverse thinkers. Further, the demands of serving on a Board of Directors can also be a good life experience in time management, working under tight deadlines, and oftentimes limited budgets.
Whether it is one of the suggestions outlined above or another practice an organization may offer, focusing on and encouraging both personal and professional development in the workplace is critical to employee satisfaction and ultimately, a Company’s success. A Company is nothing without its people!
To learn more about how EctoHR, Inc. supports personal and professional development for its clients’ employees, reach out to a team member at email@example.com or 810-534-0170.