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Why You Should Never Neglect People Development

07/14/17 / by Patricia Guth

Patricia Guth

Business owners, company managers, and others in charge constantly talk about improving business. It’s likely that employees hear this regularly at staff meetings, conferences, and even social gatherings. Improving business means adding customers, increasing the bottom line, becoming more visible…all sorts of things that indicate what we would commonly acknowledge as “success”.

Indeed, it’s good to be diligent about business development and it’s likely that those who work on it regularly will see growth.

But sometimes companies forget just who it is that’s responsible for that business growth and development. It’s the people in the organization, of course, that foster that growth, from that person on the bottom rung to those at the top. So, doesn’t it make sense that companies should be consistently developing “people” as well as processes?

Top-notch, growing companies realize good human potential and they hone that potential constantly. Those in charge figure out ways to deliver consistent training to employees and also encourage them to engage in some self-examination/self-reflection as well. The combination of the two make for strong, smart, eager employees that do, indeed, help a business grow.

Becoming a better version of one’s self

Though there are certainly many companies that do their best to encourage self-development among employees, such companies often seem to be few and far between. But perhaps those that have already jumped on the personal development bandwagon are leading the way for others to follow suit.

An article in the Harvard Business Review cites a company known as New Jump, specializing in e-commerce, that is all about developing the person. It even goes so far as to offer better bonuses and salary increases to those who consistently work on personal growth. Their compensation is determined equally by performance measured in revenue as well as dedication to self-development. 

The combination of the two, company owners believe, benefits everyone. They also believe that employees should begin each day with an attitude that says, “I’m working on myself today”, while also – of course – getting done what needs to be accomplished to support the company’s growth as well.

Roads to personal growth

These days, there are so many ways to offer self-development options to one’s employees. Many of those ways have been around for quite some time and work well for some but not for others. These include options such as large group workshops or conferences, either onsite or in a remote location.

Sending employees off to a conference might seem like an interesting opportunity once or twice, but constant education of this sort becomes both time-consuming and expensive and takes employees away from the important tasks at hand.

Because everyone grows at a different rate and in different ways, HR specialists in today’s workplaces seem to agree that personal coaching/training is a better option, though it can certainly be combined with group/team activities for the best of both worlds.

One-on-one coaching fosters personal growth by allowing the teacher to design a program specifically for one student and his/her individual needs, be it goal setting, confidence building, teamwork, work-life balance, public speaking, organizational skills, or any number of topics that impact an employee’s personal and work lives.

Personal training via an online teacher is convenient and cost-effective. Students and teachers can find convenient times to work together that don’t seriously impact work or home responsibilities, and a 30- or 60-minute session is far less expensive than sending an employee to a workshop in a far-away location as there’s no need to pay for hotel bills, airfares, or meals. Rather, this kind of personal development happens in the employee’s home or office in a relaxed, congenial atmosphere that fosters learning. It’s flexible, on-demand, and mobile.

Furthermore, a wealth of experts is available online…experts that truly know their stuff and are eager to pass on their knowledge to today’s workforce, no matter their position or responsibilities. Whether it’s the shy young man in the computer room that needs some help in learning to communicate with others or the manager who is struggling to build a cohesive team, help is available and is easily obtainable.

Make it a priority

Remember, companies pay a high price for neglecting people development, most often the loss of valuable talent, especially young talent. That can be avoided by providing targeted solutions for self-development that match the learning styles and preferences of the multiple generations of individuals who are part of today’s workforce.

In the end, the return on investment is high and everyone wins.


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Topics: leadership

Patricia Guth

Written by Patricia Guth

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