The majority of readers of this blog would agree that development is essential, but I think that it has something of an image problem.
In some professions there is an expectation that its members will continue to develop they skills and knowledge throughout their careers. For others external changes e.g. new regulations or changes in the law dictate that they must keep up to date in order to continue practicing.
Outside of this however, there are a relatively large number of people who do not engage in their own active development. They do not see any reasons for improving their skills and are not motivated by the prospect of enhancing their knowledge. How can we help the disaffected employees re-engage with their own development? I see a couple of main reasons for this:
In the first instance I think that we can facilitate development by offering additional reasoning beyond the development itself. Suggesting how the training could be useful and offering some scope to put the development into practice afterwards gives the learner a purpose for their development.
It can be difficult to know what to offer in the way of development opportunities, especially where there are financial constraints. If you have employees who are looking for development that cannot be delivered within the organisation (and no budget for external training), you could consider allowing them some self-study time to explore the area using available resources. Before doing this though it is a good idea to set some expectations on time spent and what the outcomes of such development might be.
Every individual will have different ambitions, strengths and weaknesses so creating a comprehensive development programme is a difficult task. I have found previously that canvassing employee suggestions and ideas can help as it allows you to gather together all of their requirements and align them with business objectives.
If you have successfully re-engaged your team members with their development, then leave your hints and tips in the comments below.