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Encouraging self-development at your workplace
Want to learn at your own pace in a style that suits you? Our QCS expert Laura Wood shows you how.
Self-development learning is nothing new. With the rise of new technologies and social platforms, self-directed learning is more accessible and relevant than ever before.
Self-directed learning represents a move away from traditional, classroom-based learning, empowering individuals to take charge of their own learning needs. It allows learners to proceed at their own pace, according to their own needs and in a style that suits them.
The benefits of self-development
It’s not surprising that self-development is on the rise when you consider it can:
- Improve employees’ skills and performance
- Create an upwardly mobile workforce, enabling you to offer promotion internally rather than having to recruit externally
- Increase productivity, maximising the value of employees to your organisation
- Help your organisation handle change more effectively, as employees are continuously updating their skills
Self-development isn’t just beneficial for employers, either. It also helps employees to pursue their own career goals and interests, build confidence and be more autonomous.
How to help staff on their road to personal development
It's not just about giving them opportunities to grow within the company. Think about the following:
- Have a yearly training budget dedicated to additional training. This is separate to mandatory training and should be used to help staff members upgrade their skills in areas that are interesting for them but also beneficial for the business
- Think about implementing coaching and mentoring programmes in your company. Of course, there is always (or should be) a certain amount of ongoing coaching and mentoring. Make it official so that everyone will be more proactive in tracking the things they learn
- Consider having a job rotation or a cross-training program. It will give employees better insight into the services and the organisation as a whole. Why not have a carer work at head office for a couple of days and members of the account’s team work alongside carers in services?
- Encourage team members to set learning goals. Whether it's just a personal ambition or a professional skill, learning is extremely important. Staff will feel a confidence boost and will thank you for caring about their improvement
- Allow for mindful interruptions for your team. For example, share an inspirational video, article or quote together when you know your team is least productive in the week
- Focus on transferable skills - those skills that can be applied to different areas of life, such as communication, team work, assertiveness and emotional intelligence. These will benefit your team members individually in all areas of life, as well as your team at large
- Begin a book exchange
It’s important to understand that personal development is not just about career development. Allow your team members to work and reflect on their lives as a whole.
You are probably aware by now that even the most skilled professionals don’t perform well when they are worn out and jaded. In earlier blogs, we have spoken about mental wellbeing and resilience, and it is important that staff, in whatever role they do, are kept engaged, motivated and inspired.
So, place the extra importance on your team members’ emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing and encourage and facilitate self-development. Staff will thank you for it and your service users will reap the benefits.
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