Why should you focus on personal development in your workplace? Simply, it is essential for making the most of the opportunity your workplace gives you now and in the future.
We’ll explain four simple steps to take charge of the future of your workplace.

Personal development in the workplace offers a range of benefits for your business and your employees. Not only will it help to return staff turnover, it will help to keep your employees motivated, and improve profitability.

First up, let’s look at the basics.

What is Personal Development in the Workplace?

Personal development is all about supporting your employees to meet their professional goals. This can include:

  • Learning new skills,
  • Taking on new responsibilities,
  • Working towards a promotion,
  • Moving into an entirely new role.

The tricky thing here is matching your employee’s professional goals with where your business is going. For example, if your employee wants to learn a new skill that won’t benefit your business, there’s not much point in including this in their personal development plan.

Personal development in the workplace featured image

Once you’ve agreed on a goal, it’s time to put an action plan in place to achieve it. The best way to do this is using the SMART framework.

This means that goals for personal development in your workplace should be:

  1. Specific,
  2. Measurable,
  3. Achievable,
  4. Relevant,
  5. Timely.
Personal development in the workplace smart goals
The SMART framework helps you to achieve your goals. Image credit: NHS

Once you have a clear picture of this, it’s time to start creating a plan into place, along with a review process to ensure your goals are achieved.

Personal Development in Your Workplace Step 1: Create a Personal Development Plan

A personal development plan is a blueprint for helping you stay motivated to advance your career. It is an effective approach for self-reflection and goal-setting. It helps you realize your areas of strength and weaknesses.

As such, you will be able to set objectives on what to improve on and take steps to achieve the desired change.

Your personal development plan should include specific ideas tied to both short-term and long-term goals.

Top ideas for a personal development plan include studying knowledge specific certifications, learning leadership skills, and networking with influencers in your profession. Also, it should entail steps to overcome obstacles to the advancement of your profession.

For instance, if you have a strained relationship with your boss, it is critical to mend it.
Drafting your personal development plan should be followed by a scoreboard to help you track your progress.

You can use a personal development plan template to create specific and measurable goals. Having the means to measure your progress will keep you motivated and help you adapt to personal development goals.

Setting realistic and time-bound goals will set you for success since they’re measurable and relevant to your career. Let go of any far-fetched ideas from your plan and only keep measurable goals.

A standard personal development plan example might include the following objectives:

  • Networking with professionals from other companies within your field of specialization
  • Joining a support group for professionals
  • Pursuing certification courses for specific skills in your profession.

Personal Development in Your Workplace Step 2: Improve Your Time Management Skills

Deadlines are a standard feature in work projects. For you to succeed in your career, you need to be adept at time-management.

If you are late on delivering orders or completing tasks that demand your attention, you can improve on this by improving your ability to manage time.

Doing so will result in a paradigm shift in which you’ll no longer perceive your responsibilities as strenuous, but an orderly sequence of tasks. The first step to improving your ability to manage time is by ensuring conscious attention to your work. Staying alert and in synchronicity with your duties will make you a better planner.

Also, you will have a better organisation such that you’ll schedule your tasks according to priority and have the discipline to execute them without entertaining any interruptions.

Track the habits that lead to the loss of productivity such as browsing social media sites and restrict them to your free time.

For example, you can schedule them for lunch and tea breaks. As a result, you’ll be efficient in managing the time you spend on social media and allot the rest of it to your core tasks.

Next, you should stick to a consistent practice. Once you set a schedule and assign different hours to various tasks, strive to fulfill them within those hours. Practice this until it becomes second nature to you.

Personal development in the workplace time management skills stats
Time management is one of the most commonly lacking skills in workplace. Image credit: PredictiveIndex

Personal Development in Your Workplace Step 3: Work on Your Social Skills

Social skills are not just for social gatherings. If you don’t have healthy relations with your workmates, it is hard to deliver on your work. Teamwork is only possible when you foster good work-relations with your colleagues.

Once you are aware of the synergy between you and your co-workers, you’ll benefit from increased performance.

You can only contribute to the organization by fulfilling your duties, but developing a team spirit takes you a level higher for all the areas that require collaboration. A team spirit gives you a sense of belonging and better connection with the workflow of the entire team.

This way, you’ll be in a good position to communicate and learn from the rest of the team and better your work processes and speed of delivery.

Personal Development in Your Workplace Step 4: Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Your ability to understand emotions and manage them properly is a powerful skill in the workplace. Emotional intelligence is the power to understand and handle both your emotions and of other people.

It helps you to process other people’s motivations and action patterns better.

In a workplace context, you’ll be able to improve on collaboration efforts. Also, it will enable you to express yourself better and respond to the demands of your relations with clients and co-workers better.

The most powerful way to enhance your emotional intelligence is through observing your behaviour patterns and reactions to interactions with others. Look out for what angers you, inspires, or stresses you.

Next, research what motivates other people, what relieves their stress and inspires them to work better.

The result will be a clear and unbiased perspective on communications and work approach. It will also result in better listening skills, which is a huge boost, especially in personal development. You’ll also become a better team player and establish healthy work-relations in both the short-term and long-term.

Personal development in your workplace emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is highly tied up with job performance. Image credit: Ytimg.com

Personal Development in the Workplace: Time For Change

Although personal development is a long-term process, any professional who has undertaken the journey began from the basic step of answering the question, what is a personal development plan?

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