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What Are the Best Tips for Personal Development at Work?

Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Updated May 17, 2024
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Personal development at work is the process of changing behaviors or improving attitudes as they relate to the work environment. A person who wants to begin undergoing personal development at work should start by analyzing his or her behaviors, both positive and negative, that have an impact on productivity and efficiency, as well as job satisfaction. The employee can do this in several ways: he or she can take part in a personal development seminar, work with a development coach, or simply work with a colleague or manager who is willing to help come up with a development plan.

Writing down goals for the employee's personal development at work is a great way to provide constant motivation. The employee can continually refer back to a written list of goals to maintain focus and motivation throughout a day of work. Goals can be as simple as standing up every 15 minutes to walk around for health, or as complex as reorganizing one's filing system for more efficiency. The employee can monitor whether or not he or she has met the goals for the day simply by taking a look at the posted list of written goals.

Working as a team to accomplish personal development at work helps to build a more cooperative atmosphere and lifts some of the burden of having to maintain motivation. If several people are working toward the same goal, the chances of that goal being accomplished rise substantially. Coworkers can provide each other with motivation and support throughout the process as well. Two or more employees can meet regularly or semi-regularly to discuss progress and brainstorm ideas for improving the process or altering outcomes of certain personal development goals. This is particularly useful if an employee teams up with a manager or supervisor.

Developing a system of incentives is another great way to approach personal development at work. Managers might offer raises or bonuses based on personal development activities, though simpler rewards may also be effective and appropriate. If, for example, an employee improves a certain behavior or achieves a goal within a set time period, the manager may offer a certificate of recognition or a gift certificate to a store or restaurant as a reward. Offering such rewards in public in front of other employees can act as motivation for other employees and provide that specific employee who reached a goal with a sense of pride that can foster more growth in the future.

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Discussion Comments

By John57 — On Jul 26, 2012
When I went through a hard time in my life I ended up hiring a life coach to help me get through it. I found myself weighed down with my responsibility and also the health challenges of my parents.

It is amazing how doing something like this in my personal life also improved my attitude and efficiency at work. Being in the right frame of mind and staying positive will make a difference no matter where you are.

Instead of looking at work as something that was negative, I started focusing on all the positive things about my job. Once I started doing this, I found that my positive attitude also affected my co-workers around me.

By LisaLou — On Jul 26, 2012

We have a small construction company and it can be difficult to keep employees motivated and safety conscious. Once thing we have done is offer incentives for every quarter we go without an accident.

This is usually in the form of a gift card or something that has monetary value to them. It does make a difference in their attitude when you provide them with this incentive.

Even though it is a bit more money out of our pocket, in the long term, it could save us thousands of dollars. I know very few people who are not motivated by incentives. This gives them something extra, while they focus on being a better employee at the same time.

By golf07 — On Jul 26, 2012

I work in marketing and some days are easier than others. Being creative and coming up with fresh and new ideas is a big part of my job. Once our department was given a project to come up with a slogan for an upcoming promotion.

For some reason I had a hard time getting motivated about this project. Once we started having brainstorming sessions with the other employees in my department, my whole attitude changed.

It is amazing how hearing ideas from someone else can trigger something in your mind that you hadn't thought of before. This was so successful that now anytime we have a major project like this, we will set aside time for all of us to get together and throw out our ideas.

Not only does it get the job done, but also helps everyone feel like they are part of a team. I think this also contributes to overall job satisfaction.

By bagley79 — On Jul 25, 2012

I have always been a goal setter and a list maker. I look at the goals more as long term and the list as short term. One thing I do is take a certain amount of time every day to work on boring, mundane tasks.

These are the kind of tasks that don't need to be done every day, but really pile up if they are left too long. Once this happens, it can be overwhelming and it is really hard to get started on them.

If I spend a little bit of time each day on these tasks, I feel a lot better about my performance as a whole. This leaves the rest of my work day to concentrate on the work that does need to be completed for the day.

Even though this seems like a small thing, it does make me feel better about my job since I am meeting the goals I have set for myself.

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