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How to Get Employees to Care About Personal Development Objectives

A group of employees holding up a board with personal development objectives on it.

Armed with this infor­ma­tion, show your employ­ees why they should be moti­vat­ed and engaged with their devel­op­ment objectives.

If your organ­i­sa­tion is eager to moti­vate your employ­ees, increase engage­ment and low­er staff turnover rates, then get them enthused about their per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives and their future at your company.

Giv­en that per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives are a key dri­ver of both employ­ee engage­ment and organ­i­sa­tion­al per­for­mance, this is an area that man­agers, HR and employ­ees alike should all be focused on. But how can com­pa­nies encour­age their work­force to care about their devel­op­ment objec­tives, espe­cial­ly if they appear unmo­ti­vat­ed and gen­er­al­ly disengaged?

It all boils down to hon­est and direct com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Below, we’ll cov­er exact­ly how you can incen­tivise your employ­ees to be more focused and ded­i­cat­ed with regards to their own development.

Explain that per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives aren’t just an arbi­trary per­for­mance man­age­ment tool

Employ­ees aren’t like­ly to be invest­ed in their per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives if they don’t thor­ough­ly under­stand the con­cept, or why objec­tives are impor­tant in the first place.

The first step is to com­mu­ni­cate and address the ques­tion: what are per­for­mance devel­op­ment objec­tives? This will help your employ­ees get on the same page as you and demon­strate that per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives aren’t just anoth­er per­for­mance man­age­ment tool they need to pay lip ser­vice to.

Explain to your employ­ees dur­ing their reg­u­lar one-on-one per­for­mance check-ins that per­for­mance devel­op­ment objec­tives are spe­cif­ic areas for each employ­ee to devel­op so that he or she can achieve their per­for­mance goals, career goals and improve over­all per­for­mance. A devel­op­ment objec­tive could cov­er any­thing from enhanc­ing a par­tic­u­lar strength, to improv­ing a skill, knowl­edge or behaviour.

Pro­vide your employ­ees with learn­ing mate­ri­als to bet­ter under­stand per­son­al devel­op­ment objectives

You can’t expect your employ­ees to become entire­ly famil­iar with the idea of per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives after one short dis­cus­sion. To help them under­stand the top­ic, HR should be on hand to pro­vide employ­ees with learn­ing materials.

At Clear Review, we rec­om­mend using videos to explain HR con­cepts such as devel­op­ment objec­tives and SMART objec­tives. This is why our per­for­mance review soft­ware pro­vides short, infor­ma­tive ani­mat­ed videos on how to write effec­tive objectives.

Explain how employ­ees ben­e­fit from set­ting per­son­al devel­op­ment objectives

Not only do your employ­ees need to know what per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives are, they need to know why they mat­ter in the first place. How can set­ting devel­op­ment objec­tives ben­e­fit them?

What impact will these objec­tives have on their work lives? These are fair, nat­ur­al ques­tions to ask, and man­agers should make it clear that per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives ben­e­fit not only indi­vid­ual employ­ees but the com­pa­ny itself.

When prop­er­ly con­struct­ed, updat­ed and tracked, per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives can help employ­ees achieve goals they are pas­sion­ate about. It might be that an ambi­tious employ­ee wants to climb the ranks; per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives can be struc­tured to help them learn the skills they need or devel­op their exist­ing strengths to make this happen.

Per­haps an employ­ee wants to become even more pro­fi­cient at a par­tic­u­lar skill, so they can use it more reg­u­lar­ly in their day-to-day role.

Per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives are focused on what the employ­ee wants, how they want to improve and where they see them­selves head­ing. Explain­ing this will excite your employ­ees — par­tic­u­lar­ly mil­len­ni­als, who are increas­ing­ly view­ing careers as learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties.

Allow your employ­ees to con­trol their per­son­al devel­op­ment objectives

In a pre­vi­ous blog, we cov­ered how indi­vid­u­als achieve a high­er sense of moti­va­tion and sat­is­fac­tion when employ­ees cre­ate their own SMART objec­tives. We are also much more like­ly to achieve self-assigned goals and it’s the same sto­ry for per­son­al devel­op­ment objectives.

Employ­ees are in the best posi­tion to know what areas they need to improve and why. Give them the free­dom to con­struct their own objec­tives, but man­agers should always be avail­able to advise and assist.

You can also dis­cuss which areas are par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant to focus on, should the employ­ee want to advance upward with­in the com­pa­ny. This clear, struc­tured route to pro­gres­sion will give your work­force added incen­tive to excel.

Incor­po­rate the use of per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware to track per­son­al devel­op­ment objectives

We rec­om­mend you use per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware to get employ­ees to set and update per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives. Set­ting out objec­tives in such a way will help employ­ees envi­sion and remem­ber their objec­tives, it will keep them moti­vat­ed, allow HR to col­late the objec­tives and deter­mine the train­ing and devel­op­ment needs of the organisation.

Remem­ber: per­son­al devel­op­ment objec­tives aren’t some­thing to be dis­cussed and decid­ed once, then for­got­ten about. Such objec­tives should be read­dressed on a reg­u­lar basis.

This is the only way to keep them rel­e­vant, to keep employ­ees enthu­si­as­tic about their objec­tives and to ensure that con­tin­u­ous improve­ments are being made.

If you’re look­ing to improve your per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem but unsure where to start, you’re in the right place. Book a free per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware demo from Clear Review today and learn how you can dra­mat­i­cal­ly increase employ­ee engage­ment and productivity.