In the angst of fulfilling our employer’s KPIs, we often overlook the benefit of creating our own professional development quota. That set of personal and professional KPIs which are ours, and ours alone.
Because when we fall short of fulfilling whatever “their quota” happens to be, it is because “their” quota grates up against our own words, actions and values. Our own purpose. No matter how much we love our jobs and what we do.
Usually, three factors are involved when we fall short of meeting this quota.
First, “their” professional development quota may be entirely numbers-focused. Ours isn’t.
Depending on our job functions, performance is measured on the ROI of our output. For example, how many online orders we close. Or, how many claims we process on that new IT platform we find unwieldy and illogical. Then again, how about the race to fulfill the number of customer complaints our manager commits us to resolve?
Consequently, we “see” our professional development quota as transactionally-based. As a result, over time, we perform our jobs robotically, because it represents piecework rather than professional art work.
However, in the back of our heads, we hear that voice, reminding us: “Ah, but there is so much more we can do” for our customers. Except we feel bound by, and indentured to, a transactional performance mill. So we ignore that voice compelling us to do more and be more.
Next, “their” professional development quota continues to develop our skills for the specific department in which we currently reside. Yet, we would like to wander around a bit.
Now, we do not take the time to ponder just what “doing so much more” actually looks like. However, we do know that our employer’s professional development options for us are limited. To training. And more training. So we can become more productive fulfilling their numbers.
Over time, we feel trapped, stuck. In an endless professional development loop. Focused on serving our employer’s productivity needs. On a weekly or monthly or quarterly basis. Thus, we feel we are not able to serve our own professional development criteria. Whatever these are.
And the root cause of our professional development discontent is that we expect our employers to read our minds.
Because we do not make the time to discover why we are compelled to wander outside the boundaries of our departmental mindset. Or why we are continuously compelled to seek greater professional fulfillment. The type of fulfillment which meshes with our words, actions and values. The kind of professional development quota in which we grow and evolve, rather than feel compromised or threatened.
Take a look at my new video on Your Defining Voice. Is it time for us to develop our own professional development quota? And stop feeling compromised by our employer’s limitations?
Within the framework of an enlightened human capital strategy, creating a workforce of individuals who own their professional development quota creates remarkable and enduring client-focused outcomes. Something to ponder this week?
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Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ speaking programs showcase how profitable collaboration catalyzes purposeful, innovative personal development, leadership communication and business growth. Her professional speaker profile appears on the espeakers platform. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Babette’s Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
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