Monday, 23 March 2009

Motivation Bite Size - Staff Development

I had an interesting meeting with a senior manager last week. The comment that stuck with me was, "We are investing in training at the moment purely to help keep our people motivated during the recession".

That comment alone tells you a lot about this motivational nugget. Many people are motivated by training and personal development. The acquisition of new knowledge and skills helps to make them better at their jobs and perform at a higher level while also enhancing their CV and improving future job prospects. By sending staff on training courses a company is sending out many positive signals:

- We care about our people
- We want our people to succeed
- Things ain't so bad, we still have money to spend on our staff

But of course, training courses are a whole lot more effective if people also know why they are attending, see the relevance to their job and have a clear link between the training course and their development plan.

And it's not just training courses that help staff to develop. Other tools in the staff development mix include:

- Coaching (by a manager or an expert)
- e-Learning
- Attending industry seminars, conferences and workshops
- Sponsorship of professional study
- Exposure to new experiences and opportunities

At every part of the staff development process an individual manager can make a real difference and the net result will most likely be improved motivation, improved capability, improved confidence and improved performance.

Simon Cooper heads up ELC Training Solutions and is author of the best selling leadership development book, Brilliant Leader.

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