You hire the whole person so develop the total person
“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” In his quote, Harvey Firestone does not say the development of people “at work”, he says the development of people. In simple terms, developing the whole person. Let’s face it: in today’s interconnected world, the challenges we face outside of work impact our performance at work.
When things are good at work they go better at home and vice versa. Due to life changing innovation like cell phones and the internet it is almost impossible to separate work from home. I know it is for me and the leaders we work with.
In my 20+ years of strategy and talent development, the most successful organizations and highest performing leaders recognize the need to develop the whole person. They realize that we all go through challenges in life and the way to optimize the performance of each team member and the organization is for the company to provide professional and personal development. They understand that you hire the entire person so why would you not develop the whole person as well. The future of talent development is developing the entire person.
The highest performing employees are often those who seek development in all areas of their life. They recognize that struggles outside of work will impact their performance at work if they don’t deal with their issues and resolve them. In fact, in the hundreds of leadership development plans I have been involved in have a good portion of the plan focused on personal development. For example, how to unpack an issue from your past or how to resolve a strained relationship.
There is a misconception that people don’t want to talk about issues affecting them outside of work. I have seen just the opposite. Employees often welcome all the help their employer can provide them, whether it is in their professional world or in their personal lives. In fact, there is an expectation from the younger generation entering the work force that companies will provide support in more than their job-related development.
If they don’t find that holistic support, younger people will often look for employers that do offer it. To win the battle for talent, you must develop more than employees’ hard skills required for the job. You must develop their soft skills as well, which enables them to live a more fulfilling life.
If there is a team member who does not want to talk about his/her personal challenges, that is totally fine. That is their choice. However, in my experience in talent development, I have learned that most people will take help in all areas of their lives as long as it will not be held against them. The mindset in a high-performance company culture is how can the company help each team member versus how can it be used against them.
There are many benefits of a holistic talent development approach:
- Employees are happier because they resolve/minimize their major challenges in life.
- Employee retention rates are higher.
- Higher performance is achieved when employees have greater clarity in all phases of their lives.
- Employees who get the support of their companies through challenging times get loyalty in return when the company needs them the most.
Remember, you hire the whole person so developing the total person is a win/win approach for everyone. Helping employees in all areas of their lives creates a positive company culture and creates an employer of choice reputation. People naturally want to work for a company that they know cares about them beyond the everyday workplace. Those Who Plan – Profit!