From a business owners’ perspective surely there can be nothing more important than having a strong and productive team. After all it’s the people you employ who help create your businesses revenue and without them you could say that there wouldn’t be much of a business at all.
There are a number of reasons why your team may not be performing to the best of their ability but research shows that putting in place a personal development plan (PDP) for each member of the team can increase productivity and motivation tenfold.
According to the breatheHR, Personal Developmentin the Workplace Survey 47.8% of employees working within SME feel their personal development plan isn’t taken seriously by their employer and 66% of employees have no PDP in place at all. So in short, over half of the employees in the UK aren’t fully satisfied in their current job role; not good news for their employers!
Understandably running your own business can be challenging and more often than not there are not enough hours in the day, so something like a personal development plan may feel trivial in comparison to other tasks that need completing, however dedicating a set amount of time to your staffs’ personal development could have many benefits for your business.
Many SMEs have a “vision” they invest in that helps them drive their business forward. Sometimes it can be difficult to get your staff to totally commit to your vision. It’s not their business so they don’t always buy in to your values fully but by creating a personal development plan you can show them that you are invested in them, that you see them developing within your business and that you feel they are an integral part of the team. When someone feels their effort is recognised and can see the benefit of their work they are more inclined to get behind your way of thinking.
Personal development plans can also help your staff members grow confidence. This may seem a relatively unimportant factor but it can make a big difference to your business. If your staff are client-facing then surely it’s important that they come across as confident!
A client is far more likely to recommend your business if they’ve had a positive experience speaking to a confident team member who is happy to help. If your staff know that you have enough confidence in them to invest in their future, this should show in their work.
By showing interest in your staff development they will in turn feel more invested in, which should mean they are more likely to stay with your company for a longer period of time instead of looking elsewhere when they don’t feel appreciated for their hard work.
No employer wants a high turnover of staff and a PDP is one way of making sure that doesn’t happen. If you want 100% commitment from your staff, it’s integral that you show the same in return. It’s like Sir Richard Branson said, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
Having a personal development plan in place can give a sense of direction to the whole team. As we all know “team work makes for dream work”, and if your staff are all aware of where they’re heading within your business and are happy with the direction then you should soon see them start working together. When your staff are all helping one another and working towards one end goal you’ll soon have a harmonious office and should start to see those profits creeping up.
Finally and probably most importantly, make your employees happy. Happy staff = happy customers and happy customers should in turn mean more money in the pot for your business. If putting in place a personal development plan only does one small thing for your staff, make sure it makes them happy.
It’s common knowledge that when we are happy in ourselves we’re happier to help others. Happiness is contagious and unlike the flu it’s the kind of contagion you want all your staff members to catch!
We work at our best when we feel we have a purpose and when we feel we’re appreciated. A personal development plan can be a small gesture from an employer to an employee that really can go a long way to bettering your business.