3 Professional Development Goals To Set For The New Year

What professional development goals should you set for your managers in 2016?With the start of a new year, you’re likely to see more people heading to the gym to improve their fitness. Maybe you’ll observe some individuals with nicotine patches trying to kick their bad habit. New Year’s resolutions are commonly associated with personal goals, but it’s also important to set objectives for your professional life.

What shortcomings are holding your organization back? As your company prepares to ring in the New Year, work with your managers to set and achieve a few professional development goals. When you address these challenges head on, you’re bound to see improvements in your productivity levels and in your managers.

Improve Work Habits 

Start with small, simple professional development goals. Helping your managers improve their work habits and the habits of their team members has a huge impact on the way the team operates. Some common work habits that hinder productivity include:

  • Procrastination

  • Tardiness

  • Negative attitude

  • Complacency

  • Gossip

  • Cell phone addiction

  • Lack of organization

  • Complaining

  • Inability to delegate

These are just a few of many bad habits your teams could be acting out on a daily basis, and if left unaddressed, these issues may turn into disciplinary problems. To improve work habits, your managers should start by evaluating their teams. Not every team faces the same challenges, so ask a few questions to identify bad habits:

  • What poor work habits are holding up productivity?

  • What causes your team to appear unprofessional?

  • What habits are causing discontent or discord among your team members?

Once your managers have identified these habits, start correcting them. It takes about three weeks for a new habit to take hold. If your managers show patience in correcting the team’s behavior, they’ll likely achieve this professional development goal.

Learn To Communicate Effectively

Many problems you’re attributing to employee incompetence or process inefficiency often stem from the poor communication habits of your managers. Consider the following:

  • Do misunderstandings often arise?

  • Are employees not completing tasks properly after receiving instruction from managers?

  • Are there high turnover rates within certain teams?

If your managers are experiencing any of these challenges, they may be guilty of poor communication. These communication breakdowns have a heavy impact on both productivity and employee happiness.

Improvement starts with your managers being mindful of the problems. Invest in a management training course to help your leaders hone their communication skills. They’ll learn tactics to both get their point across and become better listeners. Your managers need the right tools to effectively communicate with and connect to their team. Help your people feel valued and heard by enabling your managers to tackle these communication challenges.

Boost Retention

One of the greatest challenges employers face is retaining their top employees. That’s why setting this professional development goal is essential. The ability to retain employees provides many benefits, including an increase in stability and heightened productivity. Constant turnover, on the other hand, has the potential to cripple any team.

In the same way that your managers need to evaluate and identify shortcomings in their work habits and communication skills, encourage them to pinpoint why employees are leaving your company. Some common causes may include:

  • No advancement opportunities

  • Insufficient pay

  • Not feeling valued by a company

  • Discontent with management

  • Disengagement

  • Lack of professional development opportunities

What’s driving your turnover, and what can be done to minimize it? Begin by investing in management training that’s focused on the issues at hand. If employees feel that there are no advancement or professional development opportunities, develop a succession plan to move top performers up through the ranks of your organization. If employees aren’t engaged in their work, consider providing your leaders with management training courses on engagement and team coaching

These are just three of the many professional development goals your team could address in 2016. Ask your team what other objectives they would like to tackle in the upcoming year, and involve your employees in the process. They’ll be invested in the outcome and motivated to work hard toward improvement.

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