Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service:

“January is nearly over, and many of us have undoubtedly already broken our New Year’s resolutions, but one I think worth keeping all year, is around our personal development.

Our research has revealed that employees who undertake a regular sense check on their skills, competencies and training needs – particularly for personal skills such as confidence, innovation or dealing with customers – tell us they are, on average, 62 per cent more productive.  And with 1 in 3 saying they want more development opportunities, there is good reason to ensure this resolution doesn’t fall by the wayside.

As customers ourselves, we are all too well aware of rising expectations and the higher level of skills needed to handle different situations.  For me though, it is about taking ownership of our own development.  If we know what experience we want as customers, logic suggests we instinctively know the skills we need to develop to deliver it for others.

Institute research also shows that 48 per cent of employees aspire to more senior roles as part of their development.  They are motivated by the opportunity to make a difference; and where this is genuinely combined with the desire to deliver the organisation’s purpose, we get a winning formula for both the individual and organisation.

In a time of exceptional uncertainty, with further changes and disruption ahead, a relentless determination to develop the right skills and competences is essential for sustainable success.  It will help drive our careers and organisations forward. Like many resolutions this will not be easy, but I believe it will be well worth the focus, time and energy.”

What to read next