10 Professional Development Ideas
Never. Stop. Learning.
If you want to be recognized as top employer, improve retention rates, and boost overall employee morale, it’s imperative to embrace ongoing professional development. Promoting personal and professional development is both strategic and supportive. Really, it’s a win-win.
10 Ways to Foster a Learning Environment
- Share opportunities with your employees. Post a list of upcoming training and/or certification events. While most employees find education important, many miss out for simply not knowing about opportunities.
- Provide in-service training. The benefits of internal training are two-fold. Your team learns new skills while also participating in a collaborative team-building activity.
- Offer a tuition match. Don’t let the cost of education deter your employees from improving their skills. Reduce the financial burden by providing a tuition match and creating flexible work options.
- Create an in-house library. Compile materials from past training sessions, industry books, and other literature in a common area and allow employees to ‘check out’ materials as needed.
- Help your staff career plan. Regularly meet with your employees to discuss the trajectory of their careers. Discuss how you can actively help them meet their goals.
- Allocate a bank of dollars for each employee. Allow your team to choose training opportunities that they find interesting and worthwhile. It encourages them to search for new opportunities and they’ll have greater buy-in.
- Cross-train. Cross-training not only creates greater flexibility within the organization, it also helps employees learn new skills and combat boredom.
- Discuss education annually. Budget season is an ideal time to meet with employees individually to discuss plans for the year ahead. Review upcoming opportunities and set aside dollars to ensure that the plan and the budget are in alignment.
- Post opportunities for promotion or transfers. Hiring from within is one of the best ways to invest in your top talent. It allows you to develop new leaders and improve retention, while also sending a message to your team that the organization values advancement.
- Create a mentorship program. Help employees take an active role in sharing knowledge throughout the organization through mentoring. It develops individuals and improves leadership skills.