Is Personal Development Better than Promotion?

Is Personal Development Better than Promotion?

With a new generation of employees now increasingly value-led, is it any surprise that for many people, personal development ranks higher than career progression when it comes to what makes them choose to stay with an employer?

According to research from global consultants BlessingWhite, employees are more likely to stick with an employer who can offer them personal development at work.

“There is a blurring of the boundaries between life experience and work experience,” observes Lisa Gower of Ubuntu HR. “Enlightened employers should be looking at what they can offer in this area.”


“While having a career may no longer be as straightforward as it once was, personal development is now an essential component for advancement

Lisa Gower, Ubuntu HR


Leaders need a wider range of personal skills, and must cope with increasing ambiguity and complexity in the workplace,” she suggests.


What Makes Us Tick?

Being a leader means being in a testing position, and the task of leading people is altogether more challenging. Two key personal qualities are strength and resilience.

“You need to understand who you are as a person, and how you typically respond to different situations, and people,” says Lisa. “This understanding can then help you develop the strength and resilience leadership requires.”


“Leadership is about relationships, and change. It means facing difficult situations where people will be resistant to your ideas and impulses”

Lisa Gower, Ubuntu HR


“To unlock your potential, you need to be fully aware of your limitations, so that you can work on transcending them,” Lisa advises.

Personal development involves intensive coaching to help people develop the necessary interpersonal skills to complement the other business-related skills they acquire.


On the Agenda

More business schools are now offering personal development courses alongside MBAs. This reinforces the research findings indicating that personal development has increasing value for employees.

“It’s also a case that when finances are squeezed and companies can’t offer financial rewards through promotion, then focusing on the personal is a cost-saving alternative,” Lisa remarks. “However, this doesn’t mean it’s in some way second best. In fact, it can be an essential career stepping stone.”


Personal development has value. Where an individual can identify their strengths, and their weaknesses, they can work out how these qualities intersect with their working life”

Lisa Gower, Ubuntu HR


“The more you understand what comes naturally to you, and what you need to work at to change about yourself, the more you’re likely to find fulfilment at work,” Lisa concludes.  “And it allows employers to make better use of the talent they have working for them.”

To discover how you can develop the talent in within your business, please call Ubuntu HR on 0161 478 8293 or visit



Ubuntu HR has devised a report with HR Aspects Magazine, which looks at; discovering talent, why investing in leadership training is critical for your business, and the qualities leaders require to become vital agents of change.

To get a copy of the report, visit