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What is People Development?

The Growth and Development of People is the highest calling of Leadership

-Harvey S Firestone

Employees are seen as reservoirs of skill sets, knowledge, and intellect which makes them the driving force behind an organization’s success. Each part of the company is an important one, the employees, the managers, and the bosses, remove any and the system fails. In the bigger picture, however, employees are looked at less as individuals than they are and are viewed objectively as a workforce whose job is only to achieve targets and bring profits to the company. The flaw in this perspective is the distorted image of a person solely as a means to an end.

Statistics show that people are incentivized to work in a company where they see personal as well as professional growth. Think about it this way, the work a person does would become more mechanical than one that can foster progress if one was not attaining anything from it.

So, what is people's development?

People development is more foundational and conceptual in nature which focuses less on technical skills (that are often related to technology and science and require training to be carried out) and more on skills that help them grow as a person too (such as interpersonal and effective communication or developing leadership qualities and teamwork). These skills are not confined to one field of work, rather are more encompassing in different areas of life.

In investing in people development, one is equipping employees with long-term skills that focus on a growth mindset that looks beyond immediate achievements. It is an amalgamation of fulfilling the needs of the organization as well as cultivating the talents of the employees of the organization. Thus, what people development essentially offers is the holistic development of the employees as individuals both at the personal and professional levels. Furthermore, people development is a phenomenon that helps in being up to date with the changing trends and conditions of the marketplace, as well as with the world at large.

People development does not stop at episodes of meetings and feedback in discussing the shortcomings of employees or compulsory training for employees (which is often focused on the higher positions of work in the company), nor does it solely seek to fulfill the short-term goals of the company. It is a constant channel of communication that helps to develop a consistent learning environment, through several methods (which will be discussed in the upcoming articles).

Conclusively, the concept of people development sets its focus on the individual as a being, rather than the action that one does. Investing in one’s people makes them realize that you see them too, as individuals and as being important to the organization. It is the result of engaging with the employees rather than instructing them, which can open newer lines of communication and improving interpersonal relations. Hence, companies that invest in people development, through training and engaging their employees are often able to retain talent and are more profitable.

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