Ways to Promote Professional Development in the Workplace

Keeping employees engaged and earning their loyalty is critical towards the success of any business. High rates of employee turnover can disrupt a streamlined flow of production, which can adversely affect a company's revenue. Hence, nurturing their skills along with giving support on the progress they make must be consistently maintained. The best way to achieve this is by encouraging professional development and growth through promoting activities related to a brighter future that awaits them. Here are a few tips on how you can create a better, more attractive work environment with inspired, loyal employees as great assets.

Model The Ideal Behavior

Leaders and supervisors are empowered in the chain of command. Not only do you play a big role that comes with a huge responsibility, but you have a significant influence on your team members or staff. They look up to you and you serve as their role model in whatever they do. The employees you handle everyday will most likely follow your actions and learn from how you address concerns within the workplace, even when not directly taught. Therefore, you should be proactive and practice what you preach. Take full control of any situation, you are in charge and show that you can deal with problems professionally.

Take an active role in the professional development activities you have laid, which explicitly shows staff that you deem these opportunities quite important. It implies that you have high regard for them and their participation, and will be credited to them towards possible career advancement. Display interest in their progress, and monitor each employee's performance as much as possible. Once you see a job well done and genuine efforts in doing online courses or special projects, show that it is appreciated and share his or her success with your staff when you hold the next meeting. This gives your employee a pat on the back and also inspires others to do the same. You encourage employee participation through becoming a participant yourself, such as being a member of an association or professional organisation within your company.

Open Up Opportunities by Cross-Training

One traditional and proven effective method of promoting professional development at work is through on-the-job training. When an employee fulfills and excels at his or her specific role, you can offer the opportunity to learn new skills. Cross-training boosts the confidence of an employee, since it conveys the message that you recognise their work and efforts. This way, you let them explore other areas wherein they can gain added knowledge which aids in their development, and sure enough, the new assignment gives them more experience. This possibility of an employee capable of performing a myriad of roles is also helpful for the entire business, since it eliminates the need to hire temporary staff to make up for absences due to holiday leave or those that could arise unexpectedly, such as sickness.

Make Resources Available and Easily Accessible

Professional development opportunities can be presented with the use of various resources. Utilize the internet which is conveniently ready for use. Create an online library of tutorials to serve as their guide and reference whenever they need it. Come up with a DVD or other training materials where they can gather useful information to apply as they deem helpful in certain situations. Invite guest speakers to inspire and motivate employees, and keep them geared towards success. Host on-site seminars, workshops, or mentoring, whether formal or informal. Take part in these activities as well and build healthier work relationships as you get to know each of your staff better. Entertain suggestions of what other resources your employees may need, and do your best to make it available in a timely manner to show cooperation, and full support for their career path.

Customised Coaching

Schedule mentoring and utilize a customised development plan for each employee, based on his or her performance with both strengths and areas for improvement observed. Keep an open mind to what they are trying to express as you discuss progress during coaching sessions. Let questions be asked and take time to listen to their voice. It would be a good idea to ask them what they would want to work on, where they may be struggling, and what skills they wish to enhance. Do this on a regular basis. You and your staff can work together in tracking progress, identifying potential opportunities and results, and determining the time line for completion of any work that's feasible. These things all contribute to bringing out your employee's best performance.