Learning doesn’t stop just because you’ve gained certification or landed the job you always wanted. It is a continual cycle of integrating new knowledge to compensate for the constant change in the workplace. Professional development is an essential part of staying up-to-date and remaining relevant in your position.
It can be hard to put in the extra effort when work already demands so much time and energy. Employees who pursue further development tend to have both higher job satisfaction and productivity levels. It is important to encourage them to continue learning, both for themselves and for the workplace. So, how do you encourage employees to put extra effort into professional development?
It is essential to address skill gaps among your employees. Creating professional development goals with employees can help achieve this. Start by meeting individually with each person to discuss their job performance and areas where professional development might benefit them. The conversation shouldn’t be meant to discourage them. Rather, it’s a conversation to show them that you care about their success and their future at the company.
Work with them to create goals for the future and plans on how to complete those goals. Show them that their time and input are important to you and the company. Work together to find solutions for academic and professional development programs. This empowers them to play an integral role in their continued personal and professional growth.
Offer a wide range of professional development options and provide tools for your employees. This professional development plan is in place to benefit your team as well as the company itself. Encourage educational pursuits by making them easy to access. Many employees have families and are reluctant to take extra time out of work for classes and seminars. Creating accessible opportunities during work hours will encourage more employees to participate.
Periodically invite an expert or a knowledgeable team member to teach during lunch. Once a month, once a week, or however often you feel is necessary, give employees a chance to learn. Employees can listen to the presentation and then discuss it to help them comprehend the topic that was taught. Cater lunch to entice employees to stay and invest in their professional development.
A great way to help employees connect and learn from each other is by arranging a mentorship program. Pair seasoned professionals with someone who wants to better develop their skills.
You can facilitate these relationships by helping them set a clear goal for what they want from their mentor. Ask them what they hope for their career and what new things they are hoping to learn. Provide tools to help mentors better reach these goals.
There is a wide array of helpful tools online. Host events for your employees, watch webinars, or arrange a group discount and encourage them to attend them individually. Providing time and access encourages employees to actively participate in their own professional development.
With the advancements in online learning, there is very little you don’t have access to. It is much easier and far less expensive to learn new things on a regular basis. Employees don’t even have to leave the comfort of their desks to expand their skill sets.
The American Society of Administrative Professionals has a wide range of resources for admins looking to improve their craft. Find professional development training and new things to learn. We offer articles, webinars, events, and more to help you stay current in the ever-changing professional world. Become a member today and get free weekly resources.
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