If you are a manager then you are aware of how important professional development is to an employee and to your company.
Career development opportunities are always there for employees to go for, but they need to be able to show that they can take on a challenging position and that they are focused on their career path.
Today, we will discuss why professional development opportunities for employees are essential in the workplace and what you can do to help spearhead employee career development to help them gain job satisfaction and assist them in cultivating new skills.
What Are The Benefits of Employee Development?
Employers need to invest in their employees to get the best out of them for their own professional development and for the company’s development.
Developing employees in their current job and roles will help them build on their strengths and skills with them potentially being promoted to higher positions, or moving onto something that will give them the career growth they are looking for.
Improving employee engagement can enhance productivity and increase employee retention through learning and development opportunities.
Here are some other benefits that show why employee development for career progression is an important part of any workforce.
Employees Reach Their Full Potential With Career Development Opportunities
If employees are not opened up to professional development opportunities by their employer, they are not able to reach their full potential which can cause them to feel stifled in their job meaning that they will look elsewhere to find a company that will nourish their career goals and encourage employees to grow.
Employees can feel undervalued and underappreciated in job roles that don’t offer career development programs that they can use to support their future prospects.
Investing in employee development can reduce disengagement and stop high turnover rates from occurring, and top talent will stay within the company to keep it progressing.
Companies Are More Profitable When They Invest in an Employee Development Plan
Employees grow and show more productivity when they are in programs that support and build on their career development.
Putting employees in a career development program that can help them with their soft skills can help companies gain a better profit leading to trillions of dollars over the years.
Employees that are engaged want to do more and they put value into their work.
So if any future managers are wondering “Why is employee development important?” just telling them that they can bring in a higher profit with strong talent that has valuable skills, should make them start to put the plans in motion for career development programs.
Employees Will Stay in Places They Feel Cares About Them
Companies that put work into the development of their staff will see a lot more employee retention as employees will want to be places where they feel like they are getting the full benefit out of their job.
Seeing that these programs are up-to-date with the latest tech and taking into account the current industry trends, employees will feel a lot more supported in their career growth goals and will want to see how they can develop further.
Employees who feel detached from their work and their company culture won’t want to be in a place where they cannot see a future or where their work and ideas are not being taken into consideration.
They have no problem looking elsewhere, as they go where they feel needed and valued.
Creating a Good Employee Development Plan
If you want to help your employees grow, now is the time to put a plan in place to make that happen.
Below are some ways that you can create a professional development plan and how that could help you and your employees feel good about the trajectory of the business.
Look at The Company and Decide The Long Term Goals
It is essential that you assess the current workforce and see what needs to change and what can stay the same.
Look at how your staff operates individually and in a team, from this, you will be able to see the strengths and weaknesses which can help you create a plan that will implement positive change moving forward.
You need to think about three objectives when it comes to deciding goals:
- Provide opportunities that meet the aspirations of individuals.
- Address the long-term strategy and career goals of the company.
- Address leadership training in employees who have that potential.
Create Employee-Specific Development Plans
Employees need to have a plan that fits in with what they are aspiring to be and how they can get there.
Sitting down with them in one-on-one sessions and going through bit by bit what they want to do and where they feel like they need help and how that can be dealt with will give you both peace of mind about their path within the company.
Managers should be guiding them as much as possible but it is up to the employee to put their plans in motion and reach those goals as they are the ones that need to develop and they should be focusing on doing that when they are at work.
Meeting regularly and going over these goals to check-in is important.
Once a goal is achieved, then setting another one can be very helpful as it will keep them going with their development instead of halting their progress.
Provide Professional Development Opportunities
If an employee wants to build on a specific skill, then it is your job to help them with that by setting up courses or sending them to courses that help them do this.
They can either do this through an online learning subscription which can be set up for them, or they can physically go to conferences and courses to help them with their development.
You may want to think about adding in a professional development stipend to support them in their pursuit, especially if they are taking multiple courses and have to travel quite a bit.
Evaluate Their Development Once Time Has Passed
You can’t expect all employees to develop in the exact same way, some will take more time than others, and a handful of employees may be doing multiple development plans at once to fit in with their growth.
So it is important to monitor how they do and if you notice any change in their outcomes and if the programs have had a positive effect or if there seems to still be an issue.
It is important that you always have an open dialogue with them and let employees know that they can come to you with any issues they may be facing just in case they are finding it hard but don’t know how to approach you.
They may require additional training or shadow another team member who has already shown progress and promise with their training.
If they are falling behind, it doesn’t mean that they are untrainable, it means that some things that they are learning are going to take them a bit more time than usual which is understandable with some employees.
Always Encourage Their Pursuits
An employee trying to do more for their job is something that should always be applauded.
If you feel like they may be wanting to develop in the wrong direction, i.e. they have chosen an area which isn’t necessarily right for them or you think they are trained up enough, speak to them about why they want to do it, and if there are any other areas that they have a weakness in which can be built on.
Sometimes employees don’t know they need to develop more if managers are not speaking to them about opportunities and keeping them updated on new ideas and changes to the work structure.
Just checking in with everybody once in a while can show you what people are confused about or who needs additional training just to keep them on the right path.
Now that you know why career development is important to an employee and to your business as a whole, you can see why so many companies will make sure professional development programs are available to employees who want to learn more and progress further.
You will see from your evaluation what employees want to do this and those who just want to coast by.
If you want a strong team then you need to get everyone involved, so weak members of your group will have to be brought in to speak to so you can find out what exactly needs to change to get them on board.