In any business when you ask employees what benefit or perk would brighten their day as a worker the first thing we expect to hear is – money (bonuses, raise, cash gift). If the question is asked on the spur of the moment, money might be one of the answers you’ll hear. However, when given time to think about it or in lengthier discussions, the number one perk or benefit given is personal growth and development.
The absolute best investment any employer or leader can make for employees/volunteers is time. Invest a little time equipping, training, and encouraging your people in personal development. Personal development can be directly related to his/her job or unrelated. It could be truly personal (raising teenagers, budget management, cooking, family economics). People learn best when we offer personal development in their areas of life pursuit.
First, leaders should invest a little time with each of his/her charges. This can take place in casual momentary conversations. You might be surprised at how much you can learn about someone in a five-minute casual conversation. Spend five minutes a week for three weeks with a person and you will find out what is truly important and get to know some of her life goals and desires.
For many, you may find their desire is something you already know and do, part of your job. Fulfilling this requires only a little of your time, perhaps over a period of months spending five minutes each week sharing of your knowledge and experience in a training mode for that person. Never do it in a condescending manner. Show genuine interest in that person’s development.
If you’re a sales manager, look for the warehouse personnel with a desire to be in sales and take him with you on a sales call. If you’re a pastor take others with you as you go to visit outside the church. In each case, you will be training as you fulfill your obligation and do your duties. No extra time required.
When we invest in the personal development of those we lead, we build morale and worker/volunteer retention. Spending time with others, getting to know their life goals and desires, then helping them in personal development towards those goals will bring effective returns, through productivity, employee satisfaction, and happier employees (or volunteers).
It even beats out doughnuts and coffee, every time. The number one benefit or perk for those you lead is spending time with them, assisting them in personal development. After all it is their #1 desire. What will you do this week to begin a personal growth and development plan for those you lead?
George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.