Armed with this information, show your employees why they should be motivated and engaged with their development objectives.

If your organisation is eager to motivate your employees, increase engagement and lower staff turnover rates, then get them enthused about their personal development objectives and their future at your company.

Given that personal development objectives are a key driver of both employee engagement and organisational performance, this is an area that managers, HR and employees alike should all be focused on. But how can companies encourage their workforce to care about their development objectives, especially if they appear unmotivated and generally disengaged?

It all boils down to honest and direct communication. Below, we’ll cover exactly how you can incentivise your employees to be more focused and dedicated with regards to their own development.

Explain that personal development objectives aren’t just an arbitrary performance management tool

Employees aren’t likely to be invested in their personal development objectives if they don’t thoroughly understand the concept, or why objectives are important in the first place.

The first step is to communicate and address the question: what are performance development objectives? This will help your employees get on the same page as you and demonstrate that personal development objectives aren’t just another performance management tool they need to pay lip service to.

Explain to your employees during their regular one-on-one performance check-ins that performance development objectives are specific areas for each employee to develop so that he or she can achieve their performance goals, career goals and improve overall performance. A development objective could cover anything from enhancing a particular strength, to improving a skill, knowledge or behaviour.

Provide your employees with learning materials to better understand personal development objectives

You can’t expect your employees to become entirely familiar with the idea of personal development objectives after one short discussion. To help them understand the topic, HR should be on hand to provide employees with learning materials.

At Clear Review, we recommend using videos to explain HR concepts such as development objectives and SMART objectives. This is why our performance review software provides short, informative animated videos on how to write effective objectives.

Explain how employees benefit from setting personal development objectives

Not only do your employees need to know what personal development objectives are, they need to know why they matter in the first place. How can setting development objectives benefit them?

What impact will these objectives have on their work lives? These are fair, natural questions to ask, and managers should make it clear that personal development objectives benefit not only individual employees but the company itself.

When properly constructed, updated and tracked, personal development objectives can help employees achieve goals they are passionate about. It might be that an ambitious employee wants to climb the ranks; personal development objectives can be structured to help them learn the skills they need or develop their existing strengths to make this happen.

Perhaps an employee wants to become even more proficient at a particular skill, so they can use it more regularly in their day-to-day role.

Personal development objectives are focused on what the employee wants, how they want to improve and where they see themselves heading. Explaining this will excite your employees — particularly millennials, who are increasingly viewing careers as learning opportunities.

Allow your employees to control their personal development objectives

In a previous blog, we covered how individuals achieve a higher sense of motivation and satisfaction when employees create their own SMART objectives. We are also much more likely to achieve self-assigned goals and it’s the same story for personal development objectives.

Employees are in the best position to know what areas they need to improve and why. Give them the freedom to construct their own objectives, but managers should always be available to advise and assist.

You can also discuss which areas are particularly important to focus on, should the employee want to advance upward within the company. This clear, structured route to progression will give your workforce added incentive to excel.

Incorporate the use of performance management software to track personal development objectives

We recommend you use performance management software to get employees to set and update personal development objectives. Setting out objectives in such a way will help employees envision and remember their objectives, it will keep them motivated, allow HR to collate the objectives and determine the training and development needs of the organisation.

Remember: personal development objectives aren’t something to be discussed and decided once, then forgotten about. Such objectives should be readdressed on a regular basis.

This is the only way to keep them relevant, to keep employees enthusiastic about their objectives and to ensure that continuous improvements are being made.

If you’re looking to improve your performance management system but unsure where to start, you’re in the right place. Book a free performance management software demo from Clear Review today and learn how you can dramatically increase employee engagement and productivity.