In today’s rapidly changing and unpredictable work environment, the ability to learn and adapt is a critical capability.
Leaders need to take on new challenges and learn novel skills in order to respond effectively. Additionally, with the increasing disruption and transformation that emerging technologies and artificial intelligence are bringing to ways of working, it is vital that employees continue to develop and adapt their skill set in order to stay ahead and remain effective.
Organisations and talent managers have a responsibility to provide opportunities and create the right conditions for ongoing learning and development, but the ownership for driving their personal development should lie with the individual. Yet all too often, development plans remain just that – plans, which aren’t acted upon.
Leaders need to take ownership of their personal development
Employees who feel a sense of purpose from their work, aligned with their motivations, are more engaged . A key driver for this comes from growth opportunities – organisations and managers giving employees the space to learn, experiment and – critically – fail in order to learn and improve. Encouraging employees to take ownership of their development helps to build their fulfilment and motivation, which in turn increases the quality of learning , thus increasing their engagement towards development and motivation to put their learning into practice.
Ensuring employees take ownership of their career has greater business benefits too; the ability to regularly reflect on their role and performance, and be self-aware of their strengths and development areas, has been linked to greater effectiveness at work .
However, organisations and their managers have a critical role to play in the development of their people: not only do they need to provide stretch opportunities, they must also create the right conditions and environment to enable their employees and leaders to drive their career development.
To leverage emerging technologies and respond to the rapid pace of change, organisations and their people need to continuously develop. The responsibility and ownership for development lies with the employees, but organisations and talent managers need to create the right environment for development.
When employees understand the potential pathways for progression and the steps they need to take to get there, they feel empowered to take more ownership over their development. As leadership experts, we define the leadership capabilities organisations need, assess leaders against these capabilities, and deliver ambitious acceleration programmes to fast-track leaders’ development. As part of our approach, we encourage leaders to take ownership of their career and development and equip managers to create the right environment to allow development and learning to take place.