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How to foster and promote people development?

1. Assessing the needs

The starting point of fostering people development is to assess the training or skill required by an individual along with the skill and competency required by the position of the employee. This gives insight into how training can be tailored to fit the requirements at the individualistic level as well as at the organizational level, rather than assume and create one plan for all. This allows the employees to enhance their strengths and improve on limitations. Indeed, training is not simply about working on the shortcomings of employees also to work on their potentialities. Assessing the needs of the people and the organisation is an on-going process and when done from time to time, can assist in keeping track of the changing nature of the requirements at both levels.

This is also known as mapping competencies, as it gives insight into the understanding of the status of the company as opposed to the desired goal of the company. This highlights the fact that the person or group assessing the requirements must have a clear understanding of the aims and goals of the company, the training required as well as the prospective results expected from the training. Often companies predominantly invest in training of employees at higher positions due to a wider role to play, however, to transform the organisational set up, the approach that people development takes are to ensure training to all. This is not to say that the training of leaders is not important in an organisation. Most often it is the leaders who can successfully identify the needs of the organisation and its people, and too are responsible for setting up the development plan for the same.

Needs can be analysed on several bases:

  • the most direct and organisation-centric form of need analysis as mentioned previously (this has to do with understanding the desired goal and aims of the company, its why the training is required, what is the problem that is trying to be solved here and/or what are the expected outcomes of this training);

  • by viewing the needs of the people, with respect to their positions, role and the kind of knowledge they would be attaining. in focussing on the people, training in soft skills such as team building, effective communication, leadership and management skills, time management, decision making, and problem-solving skills can be helpful in providing a new perspective and strengthening the organisation at the individualistic level. This also means that employees will develop an improved social atmosphere that would aid in better productivity;

  • one can also look at how relevant training in that skill is important to the organisation- for instance, does this skill set also add value to the organisation and its working?

  • to comprehend the gap from the grassroot level, through consistent conversations, surveys, consultations, reports and direct observations. This means being in conversation with the employees and while this assists in understanding the most relevant needs, it also caters to an open line of communication where the employ feels welcomed and heard.

2. Recognition and Feedback

The most sought-after form of ‘recognition’ is rewards. When an employee does something that is beneficial to the company, or achieves a target, there often is a reward waiting on the other end. Setting goals and their returns can encourage the employees as it incentivises them to achieve prize on the other side of the finish line. This makes the job less mechanical and more enticing. However, putting up rewards as the only form of appreciation can also make their job more transactional, than progressive and a place of learning. For then one has eyes only for the end result of maybe achieving a goal.

Particularly, it is the little moments that can make a big difference to the employees’ confidence and performance. When the talents of an employee are appreciated, one can feel valued. This is not only recognition from those higher up in the hierarchy, but also from their fellow colleagues. An environment which promotes enthusiastic and supportive relations between employees can aid in imbibing a strong sense of team and teamwork within the employees. This means, each person becomes reflective of the team and team of the person.

However, appreciation is not simply about reiterating what an excellent job an employee has done. Appreciation through positive reinforcement, by being coupled with constructive feedback can not only help boost one’s confidence but also help in enhancing their talents and realising and working on their shortfalls. Feedback does not only have to be after a task is done, or an activity completed. It is a continuous process, as an employee works their way through different experiences, engaging with others and so on. In other words, it is the result of being in a constant touch with your employees to know the problems they face, while encouraging them and mentoring them simultaneously. Besides giving employee feedback, take suggestions and responses of your employees to understand their perspective and bolster interaction. This will help in giving newer perspectives while also making your employees feel heard and valued.

3. Training

When speaking of people development there is a reiteration of training that also help one in the longer run, than just fit into the current job profile that they must fulfill.

Instead of a one-size-fits-all strategy, businesses could consider personalized options in which training is targeted to each employee's unique requirements and ambitions within the organization. Approaching workplace development with a one-size-fits-all mindset is counterproductive in a developing, diverse company — individuals must be assessed and recognized for their unique abilities, technology fluency, and learning style.

Personalised training allows employees to learn what they need to know at their own pace and in the manner that is most appropriate for them. This improves their ability to absorb and retain knowledge. While establishing a personalized training plan might be intimidating, it becomes considerably more feasible when there is a desire to develop a culture that supports learning at all levels inside the firm.

As a result, you must have alternatives for programs, courses, and conferences that you may give to your personnel. The more opportunities for development and growth your staff have, the better.

Furthermore, training in whatever form is beneficial since it not only optimizes individual returns but also has the potential to recruit greater people to the business. Indeed, employee training and development prepares workers to transition from one type of task to another. It is essential in providing a good quality of work results at all levels of the company.

Training can be carried out in various ways and mediums.

  1. While Employee development through sessions of training, such as attending a two-day training course or a half-day seminar is important, it has highly been established that there is a need for nurturing the circumstances that aid in a continued learning process at work. On-the-job training is an appealing approach to developing personnel. It also provides a respite and possibilities to learn new things and socialize outside of the limits of the workplace. Off the Job Training usually refers to training processes that take place outside the designated place of work. This usually helps participants focus more on the training itself breaking away from the stress of work life.

  2. Mentorship inside the firm, in addition to formal training, is an excellent technique to accelerate learning. Mentors show what proficiency looks like for more junior personnel when they have mastered their needed skill set and are capable of instructing others. Mentees gain from working closely with high achievers who are eager to share their knowledge. Furthermore, it can help to improve mutually beneficial connections by having peers collaborate and participate in each other's growth. However, mentorship as well as coaching are long-term forms of training and may not necessarily resemble formal, on-the-job training procedures. These occur gradually which means it’s a constant learning way for both the mentor and the mentee.

  3. Employees are endlessly and continuously learning. There is an abundance of information that can be referred to from various sites and mediums ranging from videos to podcasts, books, articles, and journals, as well as lectures, which points to the idea that there is more to learning and training than simply sitting through seminars. According to research, most working professionals feel that informal learning accounts for 40 to 60 percent of their professional knowledge and abilities. Inculcating methods of informal training can also rejuvenate one’s approach to training sessions making them attractive and enjoyable while still being topic oriented. Despite these statistics, formal learning is still essential. Formal learning in the form of organized classroom-based learning or e-learning modules has well-defined learning outcomes and allows mass groups of people to be trained at a single time. Therefore, there is a need to strike a balance between formal and informal learning in the workplace. (“What is People Development? - Noodle Factory”)

  4. Introduce Inter-Departmental Training to boost teamwork and interaction, blurring the lines of ‘departments ‘as well as strengthening communication. Employees gain first-hand experience of how the company in totality could work and prepares them to take on multiple tasks which are not necessarily specific to their job description. This also means talent for different tasks can be found and used within the company. The capacity to examine diverse elements of one’s firm improves cross-departmental communication and encourages staff to devise unique techniques for enhancing operations and strengthening cooperation. It also enables companies to adjust their personnel in response to shifting market trends and seasonal highs and lows. Employees may find cross-departmental training and the accompanying labor across numerous job positions less alienating. This sort of training also provides exposure and experience in developing new skills which make inter-departmental training more interesting and fun (from the perspective of the employee). Undeniably these skills can also help them progress in their own respective career paths.

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