Have you considered what professional development might do for your business?

4 reasons why professional development is important

Professional development is difficult to navigate. From finding the time and money to knowing what to offer your employees, you might find yourself constantly setting the problem aside for another day. However, it's an investment well worth making, and the sooner the better. I believe that organisations will always find increasing the knowledge within their workforce vital for success.

Here are four reasons you should ensure your business offers professional development

1. Talent attraction and retention

74 per cent of CEOs are seeking out talent where ever they can find it, regardless geographical borders or demographics.

It doesn't surprise me that boredom and the need for a new challenge are the main reasons people hunt for a new job. According to a 2018 survey of almost 5,000 professionals by Korn Ferry, it's the top reason for looking elsewhere for work, with 33 per cent of people choosing it. A considerable 33 per cent of people claim it's their reason for looking elsewhere for work, as reported in a 2018 survey by Korn Ferry.

Furthermore, 74 per cent of CEOs are seeking out talent where ever they can find it, regardless of geographical borders or demographics, according to PWC's 2017 CEO global talent survey. 

I believe these two stats presents an excellent opportunity for employers, as actively promoting that your organisation supports and offers professional development will help set you apart from the competition. Talented and motivated employees look for companies that will help them grow. Experiencing it in action will get them to stay. 

Your employees don't want to stagnate. Offering professional development shows you're willing to invest in their growth.Your employees don't want to stagnate. Offering professional development shows you're willing to support their growth.

2. Internal promotions

Employee development allows you to promote from within your business. Don't get me wrong, bringing in new blood is sometimes necessary and useful. However, as well as a burst of fresh ideas and innovation, an external hire also comes training and the time needed for them to become familiar with the company.

94 per cent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career.

Internal promotions side-step these issues. Additionally, what better way is there to motivate your employees than by showing them their hard work is recognised and they have career opportunities within your business? Consider LinkedIn's 2018 Workplace Learning report. According to the study, 94 per cent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career.

Making professional development a focus within your company allows you to nurture your staff. It provides them with the chance to grow and learn, as well as move up through the company, bringing their knowledge from previous positions with them.

Professional development also gives your business more security. Should someone in a key role leave suddenly, it can often shake the foundations of an organisation. However, if you're upskilling your employees with the right skills as well as leadership training, you're ensuring you have someone to fill the role if necessary. This helps maintain the business's stability.

3. Long-term investment

Your employees are essential – without them, your business doesn't exist.

Their performance directly impacts the level of customer service you can provide. Why wouldn't you want to keep them sharp? Providing professional development to your employees allows you to hone their skills and knowledge. The right training helps improve their client interactions, as well as building high performance teams, both of which benefits your consumer reputation. 

I know how difficult it is to find time and money for less immediate pressures such as skill training. With customer demands at the forefront, it's simple for other matters to get continuously pushed back. However, without making the investment, what you have now is all you'll ever have.

Minimal sacrifice for professional development now can lead to immense rewards down the line. You're equipping your staff with the skills they need to perform better, and the sooner you do this sooner your company will begin profiting from the investment. 

Giving your employees the right tools for the job allows them to perform better in the long run. Giving your employees the right tools for the job allows them to perform better in the long run.

4. Employee motivation, performance and engagement

Do you remember that one teacher whose classes you always looked forward to? It was the subject you couldn't get enough of. Maybe you even chose to follow it further, due to the passion you developed for it. Do you remember how motivated you were to perform? How engaged you were in the learning, and seeing how you could apply it out of the classroom? Learning reinvigorates you. An example I like to compare it to is where you've been sitting at your desk all day, then you get up and go for a quick walk outside. The movement and fresh air refreshes you after being so stagnant. Training does the same thing for your mind. 

Of course, the schoolroom example also demonstrates how important it is to find the right people to support your employees with their professional development. We've all had those teachers that made us hate a subject, simply due to their teaching methods. How you train your employees is as important as offering them development opportunities in the first place.

Do you offer professional development for your employees? If you'd like to know more about the best ways to upskill your staff, talk to ICML today


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