There is a belief that people work in exchange for wellness, either for themselves or for those they care about. Often, the promise of wellness is fulfilled monetarily. With money in hand, individuals can purchase products, services, opportunities, or experiences that confer wellness. In other cases, companies individuals work for make the paths to particular kinds of wellness easier, smoother, and more direct. Many of these direct paths to wellness are widely seen as an essential form of compensation. For example, employers are generally expected to provide health insurance so that their employees’ paths to maintaining physical and mental wellness are more accessible and simpler than they otherwise would be. However, other important wellness offerings have slipped past most companies’ radars.

Although the answer, in short, is a multi-faceted approach that helps employees address holistic well-being, one area that companies often overlook is personal development, which is closely linked to intellectual wellness. To improve intellectual wellness, employees must be open to new ideas and experiences as well as desire to increase understanding, improve skills, and continually challenge themselves. By investing in personal development, employers can improve the talent, health, and retention of their workforce.

Personal Development: What It Is And Why To Offer It

Personal development opportunities, which allow employees to develop various interests and skills and more generally to become their best selves, are paths to wellness that employers should strongly consider providing. This is in part because many employees expect their employers to meet this particular wellness need. According to Gallup, 87% of millennials cited access to professional development or career growth opportunities as being very important wherever they stay or go to. Additionally, when employees become better versions of themselves, they are happier, more engaged, and more passionate about their jobs. In other words, growing employees are good for a growing business

Five Tips For Improving Personal Development At Work

Not all attempts to offer personal development opportunities are created equal. Below are five tips for offering personal development opportunities that lead to meaningful growth.

  1. Make it personal: Not everyone has the same definition of personal growth. Make sure to find out how each employee is looking to grow so that they can develop in ways that matter to them.
  2. Create a culture of learning: Personal development opportunities are only effective when employees want to grow. By incorporating curiosity into your company’s culture, employees will be more disposed to want to learn and improve.
  3. Try informal training: Self-improvement doesn’t have to occur in a classroom. Try starting a book club or creating a dedicated time for employees to teach each other skills.
  4. Don’t forget about non-work skills: Personal growth involves more than improving oneself in ways that are, in an immediate and obvious sense, good for the job one has. For example, personal growth might involve learning how to play a new instrument, start a new hobby, or contribute to an important social cause. Employers should provide opportunities for employees to grow in these ways. It serves as an indication that employers care about the health and wellness of their workforce beyond how it impacts their business. Moreover, any kind of personal growth helps employees feel better about themselves, which enables them to feel happy and competent at work.
  5. Don’t forget about “soft-skills”: According to Forbes, “soft skills—specifically interpersonal skills, the ability to manage and control your emotions, communication skills, leadership, adaptability, and problem solving—are critical” for maintaining a strong and adaptable company. Be sure you offer opportunities to work on these skills in addition to whatever specific technical skills your employees need in order to perform their jobs.

The Bottom Line

In addition to the health benefits from intellectual well-being, personal growth opportunities enable employees to achieve their potential and become the best versions of themselves. This helps them stay motivated, productive, confident, and happy.

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