Tag Archives: personal development

Barriers to Development

Barriers to Development

Last week’s blog focused on the importance of team development, and I promised to continue the theme this week by sharing with you the second topic I covered on last week’s Hoteliers’ Forum, which was barriers to development.

Having made a commitment to invest in your team’s development it can be frustrating when it doesn’t pan out the way you’d hoped. So let’s explore some of the barriers to development; the things that can lead to wasted time and effort, or worse, leaving your team members feeling undervalued.

Here are just 7 barriers to development I see, but this list is by no means exhaustive.

1. Too busy

If you’ve only recently reopened or your team members have only just returned to the workplace you’re probably thinking this isn’t a priority right now. Development, either for your team or your own personal development is one of those things that’s so easy to push down the priority list. This is probably the biggest barrier to development; if nothing happens today towards it, it’s not the end of the world, But, when it gets put off time and again it could leave you in limbo.

One of the reasons this happens is because we see it as a big task. But it doesn’t have to be. The majority of development takes place on the job, so providing you have a plan there will be opportunities nearly every day. But you won’t spot these opportunities unless you know what you’re looking for!

Schedule time in your calendar right now to sit down with each of your team to discuss their development. Even if this doesn’t take place until July or August, if they know there is a date in the diary it demonstrates your commitment to their development and gives them time to think about what they want and need.

2. No goals/direction

Development activities can be haphazard and wasteful if you don’t have clear expectations and a defined goal. That goal might be small, but always ask yourself (and the employee) what’s the outcome either of you are looking for as a result of that development activity.

If you both know the outcome it’s so much easier to determine what’s needed and to measure the result.

Set some mini goals now, so everyone has something to work towards, however small, until such time as you can sit down for a more in depth discussion with each of your team to discuss their development.

3. Don’t see the relevance

Maybe you have decided something would be good for someone’s development, but unless you involve them in this decision they may not see the relevance, particularly if it doesn’t fit in with their idea of what they need.

If people fail to see the relevance, you won’t get any buy in or commitment to any of the development activities you plan for them. You won’t always need to spell it out for them, particularly if they already have a personal development plan, but sometimes you’ll need to help people see how any development activities can make their job easier, more enjoyable, support colleagues, get them one step nearer to their dream job or promotion, anything that has a positive outcome for them.

4. Expecting instant results

Sometimes you, the team member or colleagues have high expectations. Be realistic with everyone concerned as to how long it might take for someone to get to a point where they are fully competent and feel confident. It takes time to absorb new learning and takes practise, with the opportunity to ask questions and experiment.

The sooner people can put things into practice the easier the transition to the workplace.

Schedule time for, and help people spot the opportunities to practise in a safe environment, where it won’t matter if they make a mistake. Don’t expect perfection and allow more time.

5. Don’t feel trusted

When people come to put new learning into practice, they need to have the authority and freedom to do this. Nobody wants their boss or another colleague breathing down their neck!

For example, if you put someone to work alongside another team member, but that team member won’t allow that person to do anything for fear they will not do it to standard, then they will never get to learn.

If people don’t feel trusted by others they will then start to doubt their own ability. And if they are fearful of making a mistake they will be unwilling to take that risk.

6. Lack of resources

Not being able to implement learning through lack of opportunity is one thing, But not having the right resources, such as the tools for the job, or the authority can be very frustrating for all parties concerned.

The most important resource is time. Time to implement their new skill or knowledge whilst it is still fresh in their mind.

7. Little or poor support

This is probably the second biggest barrier to development. When line managers don’t have the skills to give effective feedback or to coach others this reduces the opportunity to learn on job.

If not given the right encouragement and on-going support, progress will be slow, or even take a backwards step. People need to recognise what works. And if not working, to analyse why, and importantly, how to correct.

Anyone in a position where they need to help and support others’ development should have, at the very least, basic coaching skills.

 

If you only do one thing to avoid these barriers to development: Spot when they are there!

All of these barriers are avoidable once you recognise them. Look back over the past 2 weeks and ask yourself – have any of these barriers impacted your team’s development or led to missed potential development opportunities?

Related video, Conscious incompetence

 


Personal Development ~ the perfect opportunity

personal development

Personal development planning

Personal development is one of those activities that frequently get put on the ‘do later’ pile.

But, there are only so many hours you can spend binge watching on Netflix or catching up on your favourite soap.

With many now having time on their hands it’s a fantastic opportunity for personal development; something which often takes a back seat in the day to day hubbub of the business.

With team members on furlough, it’s a good opportunity to keep their minds active as well as the chance to up-skill to make them better in their existing role, or develop new skills or expertise to fulfil their longer-term aspirations.

Don’t rule out team members who have be laid off; supporting them in their personal development can help in the quest for a new job. By showing your interest in them is a good boost for their morale, as well as how they perceive you as an employer.

Here are 4 considerations for drawing up personal development plans for existing or future roles.

1. Know what you want to achieve

When identifying personal development needs, ascertain yours and their expectations, what you each want to improve, and how will you know when it’s been achieved.

What’s missing

If there was one skill or one piece of knowledge that they feel would help them in their role (or roles they may be applying for) what would that be? How would that help?

Identify and build on strengths

Utilise individuals’ known strengths to capitalise on them, and stretch them.  It’s all too easy to focus solely on the gaps, but we need to tap into people’s talents too, and build on these so they can excel in some areas rather than being mediocre in everything!

Looking to the future

If discussing development for future roles, find out what’s important to them. Don’t try and second guess this, or make an assumption of their aspirations – ask them!

  • What motivates them in work? What’s important to them outside work?
  • What career path do they have in mind? What are the things that they value and are not prepared to give up?
  • What do they enjoy?  The chances are things they enjoy they’ll put more effort into.

Do a sense check that what you or they have in mind is a good fit.

The skill will matrix is a useful tool which you may want to complete first before undertaking the other activities. Or watch the video here

Their expectations and perception

If you are discussing the possibility of development into other roles ask them for their perception of the role by asking these or similar questions.

  • What do they consider to be the key areas of performance against which they’d be measuring their success?
  • What will they hear, see and feel when they are performing this role?
  • How soon do they expect to be able to get to this level?
  • What do they need to happen between now and then? (This is a good question to open up the discussion on development and support needed).

2. Plan personal development activities

Formal training is obviously not an option right now, and even when it is, it can be expensive, time consuming and present logistical challenges, particularly with complicated shift patterns.

Normally I’d recommend using everyday activities as opportunities for learning and development, and suggest a combination of different activities, which will be more effective than a one off ‘training session’ as it gives an opportunity to reinforce learning and maybe take in different perspectives.

However, if people are working from home, furloughed or laid off, what are the options?

There is so much information available online it would be easy to spend every minute of every day searching, reading and viewing this.

Go back to your objectives. What do you/your team member want to achieve and learn?

Review the objectives and content of online programmes and sessions and only sign up for those that are relevant.

3. Scheduling personal development activities

Don’t feel compelled to attend every session; if following a whole programme, there’s no shame in missing an individual session if it’s not of interest or relevant to your/their development.

Conversely, maintain momentum.

Stick with one or two options on each topic. Too many can lead to conflicting messages which can lead to confusion as well as overload.

4. Monitor progress

At the end of each session encourage participants to review their learning. Ask, “what’s the most useful thing they learnt”, or “what one thing will you put into action?”

This serves three purposes:

  • it encourages the participant to review and they are far more likely to remember and implement an idea they have repeated back
  • it gives you some feedback on their learning
  • it provides an opportunity to discuss how they will apply or implement this at a future date

If you only do one thing towards personal development

Talk to your team about the opportunities for personal development and suggest they each find one thing they’d like to learn or focus on whilst they have the time now, but that would help them in their role when we are back to normal.

Today’s top tip

Even if your business is temporarily closed, keep up your scheduled 1:1 time with each of your team, so they stay connected and have the opportunity to ask for help or support when needed without feeling awkward. Even if it is beyond the scope as your role as their employer, it’s good to know they have your moral support.