We discussed earlier about people centered employee development right from the start, when interviewing and onboarding individuals. We are addressing here people development, especially in the Age of AI.
If hiring and the subsequent people development can be analogized to creating music, starting the music in the right tone (hiring) does not guarantee that the piece of music will develop (self actualization) in harmony (with organizational goals). Continuous people development is key to the success of both the new hires and their employers.
In the Age of AI, leaders often mistakenly prioritize process automation over people development, which is like putting the cart before the horse. AI, as a tool, is entirely dependent on the quality of data PEOPLE decide to input, therefore, the quality of AI is determined by the quality of decisions made by PEOPLE. By taking mundane and repetitive work off the plate, AI allows people to be active participants in both decision making and relationship building, thus increasing workplace happiness for PEOPLE.
People development drives AI, since PEOPLE are both the means and the end of AI.
Human capital is the greatest asset for any organization, and a human centered approach is the right way for people development. “Your people strategy should unite your business and HR strategies”, per Academy to Innovate HR.
For human centered organizations that prioritize people development, the entire leadership, from CEO to CHRO, must develop people strategy in sync with business goals. Compartmentalizing people development solely in the realm of human resources is not going to work.
A human centric organization provides a learning culture and an environment for incubating individual growth in alignment with organizational growth.
Leaders need to first respect, honor, and focus on what makes each unique human being tick, what role, team, and environment will bring out the best from each person, as we discussed earlier in “An Employer’s “Individual Operating Manual” (IOM) For Their Employee Development”.
People development not just “gives individuals the skills, attitude and knowledge to meet company objectives and fulfill their career goals”, as commonly defined based on the outdated Industrial Age model, which prioritizes organizational needs over human potential and self actualization. (https://guider-ai.com/blog/build-a-people-development-strategy-that-works/)
True, “people development is often seen as an investment in employees that pays dividends in terms of increased morale, higher levels of productivity and improved quality of work” (supra), but there needs to be a paradigm shift first, in terms of prioritizing each individual’s innate talent, interest, passion, and intrinsic motivation, as discussed in “Intrinsic Motivation in Workforce Management and Employee Engagement”.
When an organization is truly SERVING its employees’ needs for growth and development, talent retention and employee loyalty naturally follow. In this regard, people development is more than just filling the skill gaps. It is all about growing people.
When employees know that their companies not only accept and respect them the way they are, but also invest and develop their capabilities to empower them, employees will love working and contributing to their organizations. It is more than a “you scratch my back and I scratch yours” transactional relationship, but at the highest level of mutual devotion, trust, and commitment.
Once organizational leadership buys into people development as their top priority, next is people strategy and specific programs that permeate throughout all stages of hiring, training, performance, upskilling or reskilling, and career advancement.
Stay tuned for the next article on people strategy for people development, and specific programs.