Do you know that up to 70% of employees would consider resigning their current job to work for a workplace that prioritises their growth and learning? Only 29% feel pleased with the career growth opportunities provided by their company.

These statistics on employee training and development are from Lorman Education Services.

Companies must consider employee development to keep the best talent for a long time. Human resources are the backbone of a company, after all.

It’s time to enforce personal development topics in your company if you haven’t done so. This article will tell you what they are about and why they are important for workplace success. We also share how to create a personal development plan for your human resource.

What Are Personal Development Topics?

Personal development is a consistent process in achieving a better version of ourselves that can thrive not only personally but also professionally. The topics cover various activities that aim to infuse ourselves with relevant skills and competencies in achieving those goals.

They typically come in five categories: physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual. Each affects the selected skill set in someone’s self-growth journey. It’ll vary from one to another because everyone has different expertise, trajectory, and goal in life.

In companies, the Human Resource department provides employees with self-development opportunities. Depending on the discipline and employees’ level, those opportunities can be vastly different.

For example, recruits usually have to attend an orientation program. These companies provide more training:

  • Marriott International mandates managers with core management training. There’s also Property Strategic Planning Implementation training before the launch of any new Marriott International property. Ashridge Virtual Learning Resource Centre lets employees improve skills at their own pace.
  • Pixar encourages employees to enrol in its 110 courses, earning it the name Pixar University. Besides art- and film-related classes, there are also self-defence classes!

Why Is Personal Development Important at Work?

Even though it uses the word “personal,” this process also involves professional benefits. Here’s how embarking on a self-growth journey helps you at work.

Transferable to Activities at Work

Do you often fill your spare time with reading? Perhaps you like to read newspapers, magazines, novels, or journal articles. If you do, your reading habit is part of the self-growth process. It can contribute to necessary literacy skills at work.

An article from Ascento here points out the phenomenon of “reading for understanding”. It’s where employees lack enough literacy skills when performing and doing tasks. Therefore, leaving it unnoticed and unfixed can gradually present problems, such as being unable to comprehend new technology manuals or accepting promotions.

Situations like this seem trivial, but they show that some parts of personal self-growth activities actually contribute to our workplace success. As an entrepreneur and business owner, observe your employees’ skills range and capacity. Spot any areas that can be improved and nurtured.

Nurtured Employees

At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the Australian government provided many subsidised courses for workers who had to stay home. The fields included second languages, IT, and psychology. Other countries soon followed suit, giving labour more opportunities and flexibility to map their career outlook.

Career uncertainties have driven workers to upgrade existing skills and explore in-demand ones. They’re expanding their skills, so naturally, they expect the same from companies. They value those who invest in their development more than ever.

As a business owner, make your employees feel appreciated through career advancement opportunities. Every talent has the potential to grow and drive the business to success. Even if they don’t stay long, they get to leave with an enhanced skill set and a positive impression of your company. Maybe they’ll return or grow into valuable networks in the future. Who knows?

Improved Leadership Skills

As the head of the company, you’re also on the same learning journey as your employees. One benefit to reap is improved leadership skills, encouraging each other to succeed together. A good leader prioritises everyone’s personal growth, not only theirs. If you do so, your leadership will become influential and inspiring.

As a leader, move with your employees—not above them. The most effective leaders are open to new ideas and methods when nurturing human resources from within. They’re also not afraid to admit their mistakes and accept responsibilities. Personal development topics bring you to these embodiments of a positive leader attitude. Be that kind of role model for your employees.

How to Develop a Personal Development Plan?

Although self-growth is unique to each person, your company still can tailor a general learning plan for all the employees. Develop a personal development plan with these steps:

#1: Find out Your Team Member’s Career Vision

Obtain insights from the team about everyone’s future career vision. There are various ways to do this, depending on factors like the size of human resources, timeframe, and budget allocation. Larger workplaces may send surveys or questionnaires, while small-scale businesses and startups can arrange quick face-to-face meetings instead.

As a business owner, be transparent about the importance of this process. Discuss why their personal development matters and how it affects the business.

#2: Do a SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis isn’t only to measure your company’s standing in the market competition. This model can also apply to the people in your company.

This step will show you the bigger picture of what your employees expect from you and the company. See if it’s possible to implement it in your company’s culture.

Perhaps most of your staff express their interest in taking up mentorship. Hit them up with the managers or people from top-level management. Alternatively, put them in contact with some external connections or mentorship programs. (Read more about mentorship in our article here!)

#3: Keep Track of Everyone’s Progress

Keep tracking every progress to see whether the implemented scheme works out or is a nail in the coffin. This step can take some time, so patience and understanding are essential.

Personal Development Topics for Employees

Now you know the importance and the step-by-step guide to planning the journey of personal development in your company. What are some of the most popular self-growth topics for employees?

According to Bright HR, personal development activities come in three types of learning: formal, work-based, and self-directed. The Australian government-subsidised courses we mentioned before are considered formal learning. Mentorship falls under the category of work-based learning.

Three other skills from us below are in-demand and come in many forms of commercial training. Consider investing some budget in enrolling the team members. Track their progress by observing how they execute the acquired knowledge at work. Consequently, results will show from the team projects, conferences, and meetings.

Communication Skills

Communication is vital in every aspect of a relationship. Whether personal or professional, how we deliver our message can turn positively or negatively.

Remember that communication also doesn’t always mean speaking! Reading and conveying messages through writing are also part of the communication process.

In business, this skill is crucial. We deal with not only colleagues and customers but also investors, vendors, government officers, and more. Good relations are necessary to ensure long-lasting partnerships and avoid unnecessary future troubles.

Organisational Skills

Is your computer full of cluttered files? Are your printed documents scattered everywhere on your table?

This skill is for you if your work includes piles of to-do lists and tasks to finish every day. It should be on your list of personal development topics.

Sometimes it’s hard to pay attention to our workspace organisation. We rarely realise how disorganised we are until we finally panic. Our productivity drops, and it leads to more stress. Here’s where organisational skills can be helpful!

Networking Skills

As one of many important business practices, networking aims to create and maintain many professional relationships. To build and cultivate relationships with new people, networking abilities are required.

This skill goes hand in hand with communication skills, along with empathy and active listening skills. Networking indeed covers a lot of ground and benefits employees who want to increase their visibility. As their boss, provide them with opportunities to attend events and meetings. Encourage them to build their social network.


Everyone is considered the human resources—the backbone of a company. Each can contribute to growing the company from within. One way is through personal development topics.

There are many benefits to enforcing them in your company. Employees feel more valued, and you, as the business owner, can use the honed skill set to minimise errors and troubles on your end.

Planning a personal development indeed takes a lot of time, commitment, and consideration. The reaped benefits can feel rewarding to everyone once implemented accordingly. As a result, your team members trust and appreciate your effort, solidifying the internal relationship.

About the author

EWOR is a school conceived by Europe’s top professors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders. We educate and mentor young innovators to launch successful businesses.

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