Personal vs Business Development

Mutually exclusive or mutually dependent?

In my years of business leadership/ business mentoring, I was always encouraged to partake in development training. Every appraisal I ever did with my teams, always included a development section. It did not matter at which level employees were within the organisation, personal/career development was always present as a goal.

This was the case in my corporate experience and can be seen in contrast to my recent experience with smaller business owners. Here the main concern is around business development and not the person. But are the two not dependent? Large corporate organisations are not focussing on personal development of their staff, solely because of benefit to the individual – there is a large element of looking after the big picture.

Personal development in the workplace

Personal development in the workplace is often key to maintaining staff, but also to attracting new staff members. A recent survey from LinkedIn showed that the most important factors for applicants accepting a job offer were;

Compensation (49%)

Personal development (33%)

Better work/life balance (29%).

The number one way for people to discover a new job opportunity is through referral and what sells a job? Future possibilities.


Many of my clients find people management difficult at the best of times. Therefore when I mention personal development to them, it is often not well received to begin with. However starting with setting clear objectives and linking these with the goals within your business plan is a good place to start. The positive effects on your business will always be visible – even in the short term. From there, you start to understand any aspirations your staff may have and almost all of these will be beneficial to your business in the future. Investing in some time for training, coaching or similar is an investment in your staff, but also your business. The newfound skills will be part of the next set of objectives and therefore the impact on your business and reward for the investment can be measured.

So, by looking after the person, you look after your business. If you are curious about the opportunities this can lead to, I recommend a complimentary session to understand how a Business mentor can get you started and support you through this growth of your business.


Anne Williams,

Director & Business Mentor

Wokingham, Maidenhead, Windsor, Runnymede, Weybridge, Bracknell, Slough