Are You Encouraging Professional Development for Your Team?

Joe Weinlick
Posted by in Career Advice

A strong team is the backbone of any organization. When you promote professional development and provide resources for your employees to strengthen their skill sets, they have the chance to become better professionals, more cohesive team members, and more loyal employees with a positive view of your company. Ask yourself whether you're doing what it takes to encourage professional development, and start making changes for a growth-focused workplace.

Identifying and Addressing Areas for Improvement

Be sure to keep up with the new technology and advancements in your industry, giving all workers the opportunity for professional development to stay on the cutting edge. You also need to identify areas for improvement on the individual level. Talk to employees in private about any skill gaps they may have, and provide concrete solutions for education and improvement, such as online classes, mentoring, or additional training opportunities. Just remember to also mention team members' achievements and strengths to let them know that you value them as workers. This is especially important for Millennial workers, who tend to switch jobs every one to three years, according to Business News Daily.

Fostering Creativity and Ideas

Team members and your company alike can benefit from a boost in brainstorming and creativity around the office. Consider holding special brainstorming days throughout the months during which workers are divided into smaller teams to generate and develop ideas to solve certain problems or even create new products. Be sure to make these sessions fun, providing free snacks and drinks or even holding them in an offbeat work space such as a resort. Not only do the ideas generated help the company advance, but they also help employees feel more empowered and passionate about their jobs, providing long-lasting professional development that reaches across different positions.

Helping Employees Further Their Skills and Education

Whether team members crave professional development trough off-site academic courses or specific skills classes, it's important to provide options for in-house training as well as traditional education. For instance, your company might help with the cost of employees completing their college education. According to Business News Daily, more than 30 million Americans do not have a college degree despite having some college credit. Online classes can be a cost-effective way for companies to provide this type of professional development. Companies can also hire educators to provide specific training sessions for a certain method or new technology during employees' paid hours.

Professional development leads to more productive team members who are sure to appreciate your company's investment of time and resources in their individual skill sets. Ensure you are providing diverse education opportunities, promoting idea generation, and addressing skill gaps to maximize the potential of your work force while helping employees become stronger professionals.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at


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