By Jonathan Wygant
Once you have recruited, hired, and trained team members that are now well-established within your organization, does professional development stop?
In many organizations, that’s precisely what happens. You may assume that your team is getting the experience they need to carry out their job functions, so further training is not needed. However, continued investment in training and professional development will pay big dividends for your organization, resulting in increased productivity and profitability. Following are some points to consider.
Continued Education Reduces Turnover
As a leader, you need to encourage learning and professional growth by offering your team members training and mentoring opportunities, as this will increase your team’s loyalty and reduce turnover. Team members who receive invested learning are more likely to feel that your organization values their role. Additionally, improving team member retention rates saves your organization the time and money required to recruit and train new employees.
Team Members Adapt Better to New Technologies
Even the most qualified new hires will fall behind without learning opportunities to stay up-to-date and competitive in their respective fields. Well-planned seminars, webinars, in-house training and professional development programs, and other types of continuing education programs will keep your team current and ensure your organization’s place as an industry leader. Team members will learn new technologies and skill sets, and gain the confidence they need to become better acquainted—and even proficient—in new software, equipment, and protocols as needed.
Ongoing Training Produces Better Leadership
Some leaders are born and others are made. In either case, leadership training will improve their skills. There are different forms of leadership skills that can be cultivated with training.
- Better communication skills are essential for top management when providing feedback and guidance to their teams and during annual reviews.
- Project management skills for all employees ensures that proper steps are taken to guarantee projects are brought to completion within time frame goals. This includes managing human resources, time management, as well as other resources ranging from financial to sales.
- Taking initiative improves your organization’s efficiency and growth in obtaining new clients and learning new business methods and technologies.
- Feeling and exhibiting confidence is crucial for contributing meaningful ideas during brainstorming sessions.
While initial training increases productivity of team members by 22 percent compared to letting them start work with no training, ongoing coaching, mentoring, and learning increases it by 88 percent. Missing out on this straightforward approach to increase productivity makes no business sense.
Ways to Offer Continued Learning to Employees
Professional development opportunities that engage your team members increase productivity and profitability while decreasing employee turnover. There are a plethora of approaches for continued learning and professional development within a business. Here are a few options to consider.
- Bring in expert keynote speakers, such as motivational speakers or proven business leaders with specific programs.
- Provide ongoing coaching that is customized to the specific developmental needs of your top performers.
- Hire a consultant to conduct an evaluation and design a program based on your budget and goals to “lock in the learning” after the big event.
- Provide tuition reimbursement for certification programs or degree programs. This can be costly in the short-term, but will result in greater profitability as employees perform better and develop loyalty to your organization.
The fact is that you are missing out if your organization doesn’t support continued learning. You may be tempted to skimp on these types of programs to save money, but in the long run, this backfires. Continued learning and professional development not only boosts profits by increasing your team’s productivity and retention, but it also makes the best use of your organization’s resources—that’s a beneficial win-win growth strategy for both the organization and team members.