Encouraging Personal Growth in Your Organization
How much incentive do your employees have to develop themselves in terms of skills and knowledge? It’s easy to think that you’re doing well in this category, when in fact you might have some significant problems to deal with. Personal growth is very important in any kind of organization, and it’s the duty of the company’s leaders to promote it in healthy ways that drive cooperation and progress.
However, as you’re probably guessing, this is not as straightforward as it looks. It takes a dedicated approach, and you have to be able to identify the unique individual needs of each person in the company. And that, in turn, is something that can only come with significant long-term experience running that organization. Needless to say, this is not something you can substitute on short notice.
Personal Growth Is Tied to Organizational Growth
You have to realize that personal growth is important, above all because it promotes the growth of the organization as a whole. Many leaders falsely believe that they are the only ones responsible for expanding the company and pushing it to its limits. But in reality, this falls on the shoulders of each and every employee.
And if the leadership is not promoting this kind of mentality enough, the company will stagnate sooner or later. It might not be obvious that you have a problem at first, but it will manifest itself sooner or later.
How to Encourage the Right Behavior
You generally have two approaches available when you want to encourage personal growth. You can either incentivize people with small rewards
or penalize those who aren’t putting in enough effort. Needless to say, the latter option has some negative implications which can’t be ignored, and it’s only suitable in an extremely limited set of conditions.
Ideally, you’ll want to make everyone feel that their effort is appreciated, and make it clear to your employees that they’re doing the right thing by working on themselves. This can be done in various ways, depending on the scale and type of your organization, and it’s a good idea to look into the options early on.
To make sure that all of this progress does not go unnoticed, you should put in some system that tracks the progress of your employees and records it in a way that’s easy to analyze. Sometimes, it can make sense to make this data available to everyone, as this can provide a further incentive for standing out and doing one’s best. But you don’t always have to go that far.
The point of gathering this data in the first place is to get a better overview of the current situation in the company. By knowing who’s moving forward the fastest, you’ll be able to keep your eye on those who’re showing the best results. At the same time, you can offer a helping hand to those who look like they need it, but might be too afraid to ask.
You’ll often have feedback about the way your employees have been handling this aspect of their jobs, and it’s important that you don’t hold it in for yourself. People will have no way of knowing if they’re doing well or not unless you provide some sort of system for providing them with feedback on that front.
However, you have to also make sure that everyone is actually doing something with the feedback they receive, instead of simply letting it go past their ears. This is another common mistake all too often observed in managers who are too detached from their employees and have no real control over their duties.
It Applies to You, Too
Last but definitely not least, remember that this all applies to you just as well. You can’t allow to let your own skills stagnate over time, and you have to always be on the lookout for opportunities to improve. In fact, it will be even more challenging for you, as you’ll have less feedback from higher levels to work with. On the other hand, you should have no shortage of feedback from your own employees, so make sure to pay attention to it.
If you do this right, you should be able to see real, measurable progress in your organization relatively fast. Don’t underestimate the importance of encouraging growth across all levels, because this is one of the best investments you can make in the long run.