405.627.6326 matt@whyhr.guru

It’s time to look at our employees as whole persons. All too often, employers are quick to offer
professional development while overlooking the benefits that come from promoting employee
personal development. The return on investment is less readily apparent, but if we shift our point
of view, we can see that pouring into our employees’ whole person reaps rewards for both the
employee and the business.

When employee benefits directly relate to a job description, the net return is obvious. What the
employee is learning can be used in their work life. But what about personal development
opportunities? How does the company benefit from offering paid time for employees to engage
in classes or lessons that are of personal interest?

Employees are so much more than the eight or so hours they give to work each day. None of us
are able to compartmentalize our lives completely, and investing in personal development
increases the likelihood of employees arriving at the job refreshed and ready to give their best.
Sometimes, giving just an hour a week of work time and paying for lessons or classes is enough
to truly benefit an employee’s overall mental and physical wellbeing. A gardening, cooking, or
Pilates class might seem irrelevant to the office, but it also might help a person learn more about
themselves—their strengths, weaknesses, desires, and goals—all of which can benefit their work

One very real way the opportunity for personal development influences an employee’s thinking
is that you are giving employees one more reason to stay. There are costs associated with both
retaining an employee and hiring a new one. Generally, it will cost more to hire and train a new
employee than to retain employees you already have. Benefits programs that employees love are
a reason to stay with the company. Additionally, offering personal development to an employee
shows they are worth investing in, which can make a person feel more valuable and confident.

If you are still on the fence about adding personal development opportunities, we challenge you
to examine the professional development or education assistance program you currently offer.
How many people are utilizing it? If it’s a small number, the program is not working for you or
your employees. What would it look like if you added opportunities employees found personally
appealing, whether it be a yoga class to de-stress or a painting class that they happen to enjoy? If
you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, why not survey your employees to assess their
interests. If you’re already offering professional development opportunities and educational
assistance, there is no harm in extending that benefit to personal development opportunities.

Investing in employees means looking for ways to create the best environment for them that, in
turn, benefits your company. It’s time we begin viewing this through a lens of the employee as a
whole person. Encourage your employees to explore and learn and grow in their personal life.
Your business will reap the benefits of these programs every time.

Looking to shift to a whole-person approach that includes both employee professional
development and employee personal development? We can help!

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