The concept of development is very broad and includes a variety of different types, levels, stages and processes. Generally speaking, it describes good change or growth and can be applied to all areas of life, from culture, wealth, technology, education, healthcare, opportunities etc. Many countries have achieved some form of development, with some being better off than others in terms of the health and prosperity of their people. Usually, developed nations have higher economic growth, better standards of living (measured by GDP per capita), better literacy and a longer average lifespan than less developed countries.
While these are positive indicators, they do not account for the fact that some countries with similar GDPs still have vast differences in their quality of life. In order to achieve sustainable development, a balance of social, economic and environmental goals must be met. Poverty is one of the major issues that hampers most of the other goals of development, including health and education, access to clean drinking water and economic freedom.
The most effective method for managers to promote employee development is by encouraging them to identify their own aspirations. Managers should be comfortable having development conversations outside of organizational and team constructs to help employees define their personal growth objectives – whether it’s becoming more financially astute, a healthier version of themselves or more generous in their use of their talents. Ultimately, by helping employees develop as individuals, managers will also set them up for greater success in their professional lives.