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What an important question and an even bigger dilemma for many companies. Working in the franchise industry I am acutely observant of employee behavior whenever I am doing business with any franchise. I observe a broad scope of attitudes demonstrated by employees, ranging from excellent to “Are you kidding me?” Where do you think your employees fall? I was getting a haircut recently and overheard two stylists criticize their manager and their franchise relentlessly. Were they intentionally trying to harm the franchise? I don’t think so. It’s just that many employees don’t know and have never been taught how to have a positive attitude.
Franchises do a good job in training employees about their special operations, but overall most miss the opportunity to teach employees how to improve their attitude and themselves. There is a solution; “Personal Development.” As an owner you have most likely had some personal development experience, which has helped you to get to where you are today. Why not continue that education to your employees?
What exactly is personal development?
While there are a multitude of definitions, simply put, it is the process of improving oneself through activities designed to enhance self-image, improve personal skills and expand self-awareness and knowledge. These skills can help anyone become happier, more productive and realize their full potential. These improvements typically cover three areas; habits, health and career.
One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” – Tony Robbins
Do your employees need personal development?
According to a Gallup poll, 70% of employees claim to not like their job. If you have employees in that category, it is time to implement a new plan. In addition to improving employee morale, there are many additional advantages for companies that take these actions. According to Potential, companies deploying personal development programs have:
- Improved profit margins by 47%
- Reduced employee turnover by 70%
- Increased productivity by 5.3%
- Improved client retention by 5%
So why aren’t more companies implementing personal development?
Most believe it will cost too much, take too much time or just won’t yield results. None of these assumptions are true. The above statistics demonstrate how beneficial they can be for a company.
“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” - Richard Branson
There are many cost effective options available today.
Information is available in many forms including: videos, books, CDs, blogs, newsletters, websites, and more. While some employees may take advantage of this information on their own, it is recommended that you offer some type of structured personal development program. This could be one of your own design: book of the month discussions, mentoring, etc. However this does take time to set up and implement. An alternative is finding a turnkey source that offers an automated, customizable personal development plan for each employee (and yourself). The advantage of a customizable plan it can be configured to meet each employees needs and wants.
There are companies now offering on-line automated and personalized individual development plans
These plans are based on information gathered from a series of questions designed to identify each employee’s skills, goals, areas of importance and areas needing improvement. Each employee’s progress is constantly monitored, goals are tracked, accompanied by constructive suggestions and ongoing encouragement is provided for every individual. And it is available all on-line.
If you truly want to develop more efficient and happy employees, implementing a personal development program may be a cost effective option for your company. It can be a great way to transform your employees into happier and more productive individuals both on the job and personally. One of the great ‘extra’ benefits to successful employee personal development is their increase in loyalty to the company. When the company shows their confidence and belief in the employee by taking the time and effort to help that employee develop as a person, the employee responds in some truly outstanding ways.