The power of whole-person development

HR leader on shifting the mindset from employee to whole-person

The power of whole-person development

Amie Amosa, chief people officer at Hammerforce, believes in the importance of whole-person development in the workplace.

And  a simple shift in mindset from leaders can lead to more engaged, motivated, and loyal employees, she said.

“Why are we only focused on the conversation around what they can bring to the workplace and what their skill set looks like?"

While organisations put significant investment and resources into improving employees’ technical skills through job-specific training and upskilling, Amosa questions why they aren’t simultaneously engaging in conversations about employees as individuals – their lives, goals, and general wellbeing.

"Why are we not having conversations with people at the same time as we're talking about their promotions and their skill gaps and their growth opportunities?” she said. “Why are we not talking about how they are as humans, how they are as people?”

Amosa’s experience working in many international centres has helped shape her belief that, regardless of culture, industry, or nationality, every human being has fundamental needs that extend beyond the workplace.

Employee to person: A mindset shift

Amosa says that whole person development doesn’t require a huge tactical shift or big financial investment – a simple shift in mindset from leaders is all that is needed.

"I think it's not actually a monumental shift, it doesn't require a significant investment,” she said. “It’s actually just challenging our people leaders to a slight mindset shift – to look at someone as a human and as a person.”

It’s similar to how they might interact with family, Amosa said.

“They probably ask their family member ‘What did they do in the weekend?’ Or what are they working on at the moment in terms of their own personal goals? Why don't we do that with our employees?"

The business case for whole person development

Amosa sees whole-person development as not just a feel-good concept; it has tangible benefits for organisations. She says that many of the challenges faced by organisations today are fundamentally people-related.

“Whether it's talent acquisition, talent retention, integrating hybrid working, it's all people-related, right? So, to me, it just makes sense that we stop seeing people as employees, and see them as people,” she said.

To implement whole-person development successfully, Amosa suggests aligning it with the organisation’s goals and objectives.

“HR leaders must understand the commercial objectives of the organisation. This alignment can help demonstrate the ROI of whole-person development,” she said.

For HR professionals looking to introduce whole-person development in their organisations, Amosa offers several key strategies:

  1. Identify and solve problems: Start by identifying specific challenges within the organisation that whole-person development can address. Solving real problems helps gain buy-in.
  2. Align with values: Ensure that your approach aligns with the organisation's values and culture. Use the organisation's own vocabulary to make it relatable.
  3. Emphasise tangible benefits: Emphasise the tangible benefits, such as improved retention rates, increased productivity, and enhanced employer branding.

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