Professional growth and development refer to both continuing education and career training after a person has entered the workforce. This development can include staying up to date on current trends, developing new skills, and growing and advancing within a career pathway.
While some 87% of millennials cited professional development or career growth as being very important in terms of their employee satisfaction in a recent Gallup poll, many people simply aren’t putting forth the effort when it comes to developing their careers within their chosen field. Of course, many employers are not supporting or encouraging said growth either.
Therefore, the lack of professional development and career growth could be the result of poor motivation on both parts — the employees and employers — but obviously, the deeper desire for this is present in at least the millennial generation of employees as evidenced by the 87% statistic. Consequently, as a modern business looking to stay competitive in the employment market and maintain a high level of professionalism, you want to encourage personal growth and development within your workplace. The following is some important information on how to go about doing just that, fostering professional career growth and development within your business:
How To Encourage Professional Growth and Development in Your Workplace
1. Establish an Employee Mentorship Program
An American Society for Training and Development study found that 71% of all Fortune 500 companies had some sort of corporate mentorship program. Mentoring programs have a far-reaching ripple effect, providing benefits like high levels of employee retention as well as helping aid in professional and personal development for both the mentor and the mentee.
2. Encourage Lateral-Moves and Cross-Training
Another way you can promote professional growth and development among your employees is to encourage them to cross-train and make lateral moves within the company. In other words, a pay increase or new title isn’t the only benefit of cross-training if you offer incentives for doing so at each level of employment. Encourage your employees to learn as much as possible and then reward them for gaining new skills.
3. Promote And Implement Internal Succession
There is nothing more discouraging to a hardworking employee than to be passed up for a promotion in favor of bringing in someone from outside your company. Don’t make this mistake. If it’s at all possible, create pathways of internal promotion and succession within your company. Don’t bring in outside talent unless you have no other choice.
4. Provide for Conference Attendance
If you want your employees to be extremely knowledgeable and well-versed in various methods and/or strategies, then help them garner said skills by attending applicable conferences. If you cover the cost of the conference, so employees can learn better ways of doing their job, not only do they benefit but your company overall will as well.
5. Encourage Micro-Learning
Micro-learning is aptly named as it takes large or confusing concepts and breaks them down into easy-to-digest segments of learning, hence the micro-learning description. This takes the place of lengthy classes. This can be a great way to teach sometimes overwhelming information to employees in easier-to-learn segments.
6. Provide Continuing Education Benefits
Continuing education once employed is challenging at best. After all, many employees work full-time days and are trying to balance their work and home life already, without the added demand of additional education. Therefore, it’s a good idea for you to provide benefits for employees who do opt to continue their education. Reward them for their effort.
7. Host Internal Workshops
To foster an environment committed to professional development and growth, consider hosting internal workshops. Select various concepts to cover as well as types of skills, like soft skill training to further enhance your own workforce from within.
Professional Growth and Development Helps Employees and Employers
By investing in your employee’s professional development, you are instilling a growth mindset and confidence within them. This can actively benefit your company’s retention rate as employees are often more apt to stay with a company long-term that invests in them in this way. Contact our team to see how we can help you implement this in your workplace and create a game plan.