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How important is personal development planning?

You may have your teams progression mapped out but are you equipping them with the soft skills to get there?


From my experience of working in agencies over the past ahem years… I have had the support of some great managers investing in me with their time, training and trust. I’ve also been on the periphery of pressurised managers struggling because they don't have the soft skills to handle certain situations.


Again, from my experience, progression in business is monitored through standard templated appraisals once a year (that no one has the time to really fully immerse themselves in because of the day job), and weekly (ish) 121’s, if you’re lucky. The output of these formats are objectives which relate to work levels and where you should be progressing to, we don't always address how you're going to get there.


In this competitive, budget driven, time poor, high expectation market its common place in businesses to up-skill teams with the competencies to do the process part of the role, but rarely the soft skills that help them overcome the hurdles that come with delivering the brief.


The higher the expectation, the less likely you will hear someone say they are struggling to cope, so they will either struggle on and lose their confidence or leave the business either way the wider team suffers.


Yes, there are training courses, on decision making for example, but these are usually delivered to teams of varying skill and experience levels so will only resonate with a small percentage of this captive audience and, unless you are dealing with a live scenario in the room, the message may have been forgotten by the time that particular high value decision needs to be made.


Investing in your team to help them reach their full potential is paramount, it’s not all about pay rises and beers on a Friday, it needs to be tangible and sustainable to really engage, motivate and drive loyalty.


Putting a good personal development plan in place with each of your team not only highlights their key strengths which can define career goals, but also helps to identify development areas such as confidence and resilience which can be coached over a measured period of time to ensure your teams can be the best representation of your business values.


Can you afford to not invest?


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