From the second we take our first breath we are labelled and monitored. Placed against a graph, pushed towards an assortment of figures, and sent on a continual journey of progression.
Development plans are implemented from day one. Check-ups following birth are held regularly to monitor advancement. In infancy our carers apply techniques to prepare us in our learning.
When we reach primary school development plans become a large focus of our lives. Children are given targets to complete by the end of the hour/day/year. Records are kept for every subject. These monitor progress and/or lack of advancement.
This process continues all the way through to A Levels. Here predicted grades and targets are enforced. As young-adults begin to map out their future careers, development plans are paramount. At university, where the level of autonomy is tenfold, development programmes are still mandatory.
Why do development programmes become more of a rarity when we leave the world of academia?
Within the workplace, often employee development plans are pushed to the side. Businesses often favour focusing on the ‘here and now’, rather than the future.
Goals and plans dedicated to aid personal progression are, however, crucial. They provide a realistic time frame to complete work. What’s more, they give us a measure to mark targets, and more.
We all know the proverb ‘if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid’. The same applies here. We all differ. Bennie may learn differently and at a different rate to Amy who sits at the desk next to him. By enforcing development plans, we can establish how someone works best. If we understand this, we create a highly skilled and motivated workforce.
With a career plan employees can also identify their positive/negative qualities, and work on them. Helping employees to identify and face their individual issues improves the company as a whole.
By creating development plans, the employee is placed in a position of control. As a result, employees with autonomy allows them to take ownership of what they do. As such, work appears less as an item that has to be done. Instead, work is a means to reach personal goals.
Of course, employee programs only work if the company cares about their employee’s personal growth. As such, without providing opportunities for development, advancement will be slow.
‘If you believe that training is expensive, it it because you do not know what ignorance costs’
Companies who leave no budget for advancement schemes may see a detrimental effect. As Michael Leboeuf argues ‘If you believe that training is expensive, it is because you do not know what ignorance costs’. Companies that have the loyalty of their employees invest heavily in permanent training programs and promotion systems.’
According to Bagshaw, the
‘Dynamic people of today’s dynamic world are attracted to jobs where they can see
clear development for themselves, with opportunities spreading in all directions’.
Although this message was formed in 1996, the sentiment has not changed. A survey by PwC supports this. When asked what mattered, 52% of employees from varying companies specified that career progression mattered above all other factors. In addition, 35% said that excellent training and development mattered above all else, including pay. And, 74% said that they were ready to learn a new skill.
If your organisation does not dedicate time to employee development plans, then don’t be shocked when profits fall.
To see what your employees and clients are saying about your business. Or to decipher whether or not your company needs better programmes, contact Pansensic.
We work with global organisations in a wide range of sectors. These organisations understand that the experiences of their customers/staff/stakeholders provide game-changing insights.