Have you recently made a career step into a position of management? Moving away from the ‘dirty’ coding work and managing people and projects instead can be quite an uneasy departure from what you’re comfortable with.

On top of that, creating and managing your team’s personal development plans is an absolute minefield, right?

No, not necessarily.

With a bit of forward-planning and some key ideas up your sleeve, you can make sure your team’s PDPs are bringing out the very best in your data analysts. And, by developing your team’s soft skills as well as their technical ones, your staff can grow both personally and professionally. These skills will ensure they are well-armed to represent you and your whole team to the rest of the business.
 

Why are PDPs for analysts essential?

Today’s workforce, particularly the younger generations, are increasingly looking for clear personal development opportunities when they embark on their careers. This is a critical step in attracting and retaining new talent in the modern workplace.

This, however, may not always be true of data analysts. You may need to work harder to encourage and nurture your technical staff. But when done well, providing opportunities for them to grow has tangible benefits for you, your team and your wider business.

Remember, though—personal development does not necessarily imply upward career movement. It is about empowering your staff to improve their performance, their communication skills and their confidence to reach their full potential at each stage of their career.
 

Create a plan upfront

When you have new starters, it’s a good idea to craft a personalised plan with them. You can start with the first 12 months empty and help them build an action plan. It’s important to find out where they want to grow and support them to achieve it. This could mean developing personal skills they are less confident with, or widening their knowledge on specific subjects.

It could be attending two or three skills workshops, shadowing someone in a different role or attending a number of career development seminars over the 12 months.
 

Take an active role in your team’s interests

Rather than leaving personal development processes to a once-yearly task, why not set up regular one-on-ones with your analysts?

Take an active role in learning their wider interests—find out what excites them outside of their normal job scope. Staff performance and loyalty increases when employees feel supported and empowered to pursue their personal goals.
 

Encourage learning opportunities

Essentially, all personal development is the result of learning, so instilling a positive learning culture in your workplace is essential. This culture, when it’s inherent, will encourage your staff to push themselves beyond their boundaries and continually develop new skills.

Encourage your team members to actively look for conferences, workshops and seminars that are relevant to their job roles and their personal development, too.
 

Think beyond technical skills

Technical skills are, of course, essential for success in a role such as data analyst. But don’t neglect your team’s presentation, communication and collaboration skills.

Great analysts need more than just technical skills alone. Soft skills are equally valuable to improve their job satisfaction and to boost their profile within the business. Better still, there are plenty of workshops that both your team members can attend to help them (and you) achieve their personal and professional objectives.

If you’re feeling underprepared for managing a team of analysts, why not attend a skills workshop yourself? Managing Analysts is a course designed to help you plan your analysts’ personal development plans, whilst avoiding common management pitfalls such as over-involvement and micro-managing.