March 22, 2024 in Articles

Retaining Talent: Do You Offer Enough Professional Development?

Of all the things that can improve employee retention, providing opportunities for professional development is one of the most critical. However, it’s also one of the most overlooked. 

Many organizations may consider the growth of their employees a priority, but that doesn’t mean the actual professional development opportunities they offer are adequate or effective. This may be why their top talent has one foot out the door. 

If you’re unsure whether you offer enough professional development to your employees, odds are you don’t. The simple solution to this issue is to take a closer look at the opportunities for growth you’re providing, determine the strengths and weaknesses of those opportunities, and adjust accordingly. Using this quick guide, you should be able to do just that.

The Importance of Professional Development

Providing opportunities for your employees to learn and grow with your organization is beneficial in a variety of ways. First, it can improve employee retention by showing your team members that you’re invested in them and that they’re valued. It can also boost their confidence, advance their careers, improve their productivity, and allow them to adapt as their industry continues to evolve. 

On top of the benefits professional development offers your current employees, it can also play a role in attracting top talent should a position open up. The most qualified, skilled, and gifted candidates are far more likely to see your organization as an attractive destination if they know they’ll be afforded the opportunity to improve themselves and advance.

How Much Professional Development Should You Offer?

It’s not necessarily easy to know if you’re providing your employees with enough professional development opportunities; the right amount can vary depending on your organization and your industry. 

To determine how much professional development your organization should provide, you need to consider the sort of development your workforce could stand to benefit from, the ways in which you can provide that development, and the cost of providing it. You can get a better idea of what might be useful to your employees by consulting them about their needs. 

Once you’ve established a professional development program, you’ll want to continue to track its success based on feedback, personal observation, and attendance numbers.

Not every employee is going to be enthusiastic about professional development, but creating a culture of participation and encouraging attendance can go a long way toward motivating the less inspired among them.

What Types of Professional Development Should You Offer?

Every industry and every organization within that industry is going to have different needs in terms of professional development. The first step to figuring out what your company should offer is understanding what’s available. Take a look at some of the most common types of professional development.

Internal Mentorship Programs

Providing new members of your workforce with an experienced mentor can help them not only swiftly develop new skills and acquire new knowledge but also make closer connections within your company so they can become more engaged.

Training Courses

Employees can develop their skills and remain up to date with your evolving industry through both in-house and outside training courses. Depending on your industry and your organization, these training courses may provide a clear path toward advancement for your employees, which can improve employee retention and engagement. 

One of the best ways to provide your employees with training opportunities is through on-demand online learning courses. Offering your workforce the freedom to continue their development at their own pace can be the perfect way to get them engaged in learning and growing with your organization.

Leadership Development

Some employees may be born leaders, but there are others who also have it in them if you simply provide the support they need to blossom. 

Leadership development is the perfect way to help the leaders of the future grow and improve. It can also help current leadership become more efficient and effective. Additionally, a clear path to a leadership role can be fantastic for employee retention.

Improve Your Professional Development With AssetHR

AssetHR can help you hone your organization’s professional development and improve employee retention. When you’re ready to offer more development opportunities, reach out and we’ll help you get started.