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The insider on the outside

Harvey Firestone 1968-1938 once said "The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership"

Yes you read that date right! For some reason for many organisations this principle is lost.

We recently undertook a poll in #LinkedIn. We reached out to the HR professional community.

Here is our poll question:

We were delighted that 310 of our HR professional colleagues took part. Thank you!

Out of 300, 56% said that colleagues approached HR for Advice

Putting this into a time perspective on a typical 8 hour day , thats 4.50 hours of HR's time each day is spent giving advice.

No wonder we work extra hours, to fit in the other stuff!

24% said spent given related to policy and procedure. that's under 2 hours in a typical day.

and the rest of the time being spent helping with development and performance/payroll/£ related items.

Now I know this does not represent all organisations, its just a snap shot, but the strange but true fact is, it actually correlates with our own software findings.


In iDrive HR we have a live pulse. A wellbeing engagement tool to help the organisation get a sense of what's happening. What's going well and not so well. The aim being to balance all 9 dimensions of the aspects that affect wellbeing and engagement (of which development is one), to improve on the baseline to aid retention, attraction and performance and to just generally improve life whilst at work!

Development is an area, that often has a low result. Even in companies that provide regular training!

(iDrive HR engagement and wellbeing tool copyright.)

The turnover/retention factsheets prepared by #CIPD explains that lack of development/career advancement is one of the reasons for leaving an organisation . (

So what can we do about it?

Well the first thing you might want to consider doing is asking what do people in your organisation define to be development? In fact, does the organisation define it? If it does, is this widely understood?

Second is to analyse against the definitions put forward what you actually do and see where the gaps are.

Is there a mismatch between what development means in your organisation and what people perceive it to be/mean?

Are people developed? or is the dedicated to the select few? Maybe no-one at all?

Development doesn't even require a budget. So why are we not doing it more often? Encouraging colleagues to come to HR for assistance for development and performance? HR can play an instrumental part in development and performance through: helping to research and source the right solutions; providing insight into whats happening and where to go; providing thoughts and access to free or no cost ways to develop, helping just to understand what the development requirement needs are.

Some Low/No Cost Solutions include:

  • sharing knowledge and new insights

  • books to gain knowledge or momentum

  • podcasts

  • you tube videos

  • journals/Publications

  • setting some time aside in team meetings to learn something together

  • joining forums and groups

  • volunteering for charities

  • iDriver users, direct people to the Library! Add your own media items to it.

So look to see how you can develop from the inside first, before looking to bring people in from the outside.

There are also lots of place to go to book onto low cost e-learning.

Check out

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