The next level of developmental opportunities at work.

April 27, 2023

For business owners, executives, or managers, it’s considered “common sense” to aim at improving team performance. The spectrum of how they try to achieve it is broad. Some organise various workshops, others - special team-building events, third implement rules around a healthy or green work environment. The idea behind all these efforts is one! Enableing the constant development of employees is directly linked to ensuring the growth of the organization.

 This certainly sounds like the right mindset, doesn't it. The question is - are organisations approaching people development the right way?

Survey results from Instructure, conducted by The Harris Poll, show a significant disconnect between how companies in the US think they're doing, when it comes to developing their workforce, and the reality of employee needs.

70% of the respondents said that are “somewhat likely” to leave their current company for one that is known to invest in employee development and learning.

(Source: Instructure, 2019)

Why do people value developmental growth opportunities? This is not a trivial question to ask. The reasons may be various but one thing they all have in common is – regardless of the root motive it is always very personal!

You might find it challenging to concentrate at work. A fellow colleague would want to have a better grip on their time management. The new joiner could struggle with business communication or mastering a particular technical skill. The needs can be as many as the number of employees. They are all important to each one of them.

An employer may try to summarise them and organise a workshop with a title: “Ways to Improve Focus & Concentration at Work”.

Now, a question for you...

How much do you think that would help and truly develop staff?

And what if basic tips such as: “Minimize online distractions” or “Keep your workspace clean and organized” are just not at the right level of your employees’ inteligence and needs? You are likely to end up investing on something that has zero return but a mere "feel good for the moment" contribution.

For businesses that care both about their people and the bottom line, it’s time to dig deeper into core adult development and what it takes to move someone from A to B.

We all know how difficult it is to change and improve at a mature stage of our lives. Why do we keep pretending that a simple training and one hour’s workshops will do the trick sustainably? Why do we keep being mostly shortsighted when it comes to employee learning and development? Perhaps we lack a bit of belief that change is possible in the first place but mostly employers want to see immediate results in an area (aka people development) where vision and patience are in fact imperative.

Neglecting the true nature of development catches up with any business and the consequences are often more than unpleasant. High churn rates, low morale, dysfunctional relationships, mentalhealth issues, burnouts, absenteeism, lack of motivation, no loyalty are just a few of the possible byproducts.

Not to mention that there are many whose potential and capacity are being lost because organizations would rather use a high salary than a growth strategy to attract and keep talent. Given that most people spend a large proportion of their active lives at work, what does that mean for each and every one of us in the grand scheme of things? The system and business tradition as it is today fails us in the long term. Adjustments are necessary.

As a coaching company that promotes a healthy work environment and aims to improve the quality of work in various structures, we have rich experience in this field and have our own take on making a growth difference for our business and employees.

How do we make sure our people remain healthy and motivated?
The strategy is relatively simple.

It begins by acknowledging and accepting that every person is a holistic system with unique needs, expectations, aspirations and qualities. We are not going to change that, no matter how many different types of boxes we try to fit them in. Hence, the best learning and developmental approach has to be individually tailored. How to do this for everyone?

Each team member - from our content creator and social media manager to the CEO has one mandatory coaching session per month. It’s a space and time when they focus on their unique needs and we encourage their dedicated personal work – on matters in and outside of the job.

As any other working people, we also tend to run around with tasks and deadlines, not putting our wellbeing, fulfillment or growth at the forefront unless a structure in place gives us the needed nudge. Without it we easily fall into the trap of thinking that we don’t need any support and we will do "just fine" by winging growth.

The beauty of it is that our colleagues are not constrained by a specific topic or a specific time slot. They can schedule a session whenever they feel is most convenient during that month.

Some of the topics discussed this past month included: “Performance excellence”, and “Time management skills” and others were more personal such as “Decision-making” and “Coping with self-doubt”.

We know that personal and professional facets of life are inextricably linked. That's why we ensure that everyone has the freedom to communicate their hardships, overcome them and preserve while aiming at what they value.

Most importantly, it is great to share how positive the feedback from sessions actually is!

In April 2023 our operation’s manager shared that thanks to her coaching session she

“saw the root of the problem, not only the surface level”;

our social media accounts manager says that the process helped her to

“finally building a time management strategy that works for me”, (because all basic tips used before proved to be inefficient in the past)
Furthermore, the individually focused developmental opportunity influences our team dynamic and communication positively too. When we share with each other the experience from the coaching session we become more open and honest as well as more able to react in a level-headed way when mistakes occur.
Statistics show that coaching improves productivity at work by 50% and the quality of work by 44%. We can definitely confirm that results are produced! It’s both practical and personalized. The repetitiveness of the sessions supports long-term results. The mandatory part of the job makes it a shared responsibility - between both - employer and employee.

We hope this article gave you some food for thought about the bigger picture of personal development and learning.

Ask us any questions that you might have.

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the ILC Team

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