New Year, New Goals: 9 Ways to Help Your Team Set Personal Development Goals They’re Excited About
October 30, 2023
As the saying goes, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”
With only a couple of months left in the year, you (and your team!) might be thinking: What’s next? The dawn of a new year often brings with it a renewed sense of purpose and the desire to grow. As a leader, this is a golden opportunity to channel this energy into meaningful personal development for your team. But what exactly is personal development?
What Personal Development is and Why We Care
Personal Development is the continuous process of self-improvement, both professionally and personally. It encompasses acquiring new skills (both technical and soft!), expanding knowledge, enhancing performance, and fostering qualities that lead to the achievement of one’s aspirations.
The purpose of setting personal development goals is multi-faceted:
Growth: It allows individuals to step out of their comfort zones, challenge themselves, and evolve.
Direction: Clearly defined goals provide a roadmap, guiding individuals toward their desired outcomes.
Motivation: Setting and achieving personal milestones boosts confidence and morale.
This is so important because as the saying goes, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” If you have aspirations in your career, finding new ways to push yourself to grow is the best way to reach your goals.
There’s one caveat: Most people aren’t born knowing how to set a development goal. Here are some ways you can help!
9 Ways to Help Your Team Set Their Development Goals
Help your team set meaningful development goals they’ll actually be excited about. Here’s how:
Initiate the Conversation: Begin by scheduling one-on-one sessions with each team member. This dedicated time shows you value their growth and are invested in their journey.
Reflect on the Past: Before setting new goals, encourage team members to reflect on the previous year (or whatever recent timeframe makes sense). What were their achievements? What challenges did they face? This reflection provides a foundation for future goals.
Be S.M.A.R.T: Guide your team in setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound* goals. This framework ensures clarity and feasibility.
Align with Career Aspirations: Personal development goals should resonate with an individual’s career path. Whether it’s acquiring a new skill or taking on leadership roles, ensure goals align with their broader career vision.
Encourage Skill Development: The world is evolving rapidly. Encourage team members to explore courses, workshops or seminars that enhance their skills and keep them updated with industry trends. Skill building can also be less tangible, such as working on building confidence to speak up more in meetings or getting more involved by being on a committee.
Set Up Checkpoints: Goals without regular check-ins can be forgotten. Schedule frequent reviews to discuss progress, challenges and any support they might need.
Celebrate Milestones: Recognize and celebrate when a team member achieves a personal development goal or milestone. This not only boosts morale but also reinforces the importance of continuous growth.
Provide Resources: Whether it’s time, training programs or tools, ensure your team has what they need to achieve their goals.
Lead by Example: Set your own personal development goals and share them with your team. When they see you committed to growth, they’re more likely to be motivated themselves.
*Here’s a quick tip: The S.M.A.R.T. framework is helpful when writing goals. However, encourage flexibility on timeframes. Personal growth doesn’t happen in any certain amount of time. (If you’re working on growing your confidence, for example, you could see improvement in a month… or a year!) It’s common to think of goal setting as a quarterly or yearly activity, but personal development goals could take more or less time. And that’s okay! Just have your team revisit their goals whenever it’s time for a switch.
Personal development goals are a powerful tool for both individual growth and organizational success. As we step into the new year, let’s commit to fostering an environment where every team member feels supported in their personal growth journey.
Is your team really struggling with setting their personal development goals? GrowWise is a unique platform made to do just that. Using self-reflection and interactive games and tools, GrowWise guides you through the process of creating a meaningful personal development plan. If this sounds like something your team could use, reach out to schedule a demo!
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