As labor shortages continue, human resources professionals must discover methods for keeping their current workforce satisfied in order to maintain employee retention rates. One retention method proving to be successful with today’s workforce is offering opportunities for professional development.
Employee retention is only one of the many benefits of providing growth opportunities for employees. But what do these professional development opportunities entail? In a way, professional development is quite similar to learning and development (L&D). As a human resources professional, you must consider ways to help your team grow and develop their skills, industry knowledge, etc.
One common argument against professional development opportunities insists that employees will take their new knowledge and skills elsewhere. But studies have shown that not to be the case. In fact, a 2018 study conducted by LinkedIn found that 93% of employees are willing to remain with a company longer if they are offered development opportunities. As previously mentioned, that is only one of the benefits. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Improved employee performance
While you may already have a well-established team of strong, talented professionals, it is never a bad idea to offer professional development opportunities. Industries are always changing. It’s important that your team is up-to-date on all the nuances and is prepared with the tools needed to excel in their work.
Professionals at the highest level can still find room for improvement. Even after a quarterback has won the Super Bowl, they never stop showing up to practice. For the sake of your company, ensuring your employees are always looking to grow their knowledge and skill levels is crucial for staying ahead of the competition and optimizing their output.
2. Higher employee satisfaction rates
A major factor in employee dissatisfaction is the feeling of being stagnant or stuck in your career. Once employees feel bored or as though they are not going to progress at your company, they begin searching for new employment opportunities.
If you want your employees to remain satisfied, providing them with opportunities that challenge them and help them grow professionally is one way to do that. If employee satisfaction is an issue at your company, consider reading this article on how to boost team morale.
3. Attracts new talent
While retaining employees is one reason you may consider offering professional development opportunities, another equally important benefit is that it helps to attract new employees as well.
The current workforce wants to work for companies that care about their employees and are willing to do what it takes to ensure employees are happy and developing at their companies. When you establish a company culture that encourages growth and development, new talent will take notice. For more on talent acquisition, consider reading this article from our conversation with Carla Reed.
4. Discover opportunities for organizational growth
These professional development opportunities can benefit more than just your employees; they can benefit your entire organization. When conducting these professional growth opportunities or L&D opportunities, look to see where your team is excelling and where they are falling short.
This examination serves two purposes: for starters, it can help you as a human resources professional identify where additional training is unnecessary. This can contribute to your other L&D strategies. It also may help you identify new talents within your employees that you were unaware of prior to these growth opportunities being offered, which can in turn lead to increased productivity and innovation.
For instance, you may discover that one of your managers excels at creating strategic plans that optimize processes, which may be a need your company has right now. You could potentially create a new role for the team member where they can apply their new or advanced skills. Ultimately, their work could benefit the entire company; however, you may have never known this talent existed had you not provided them with the opportunity.
5. Remain a fierce industry competitor
As previously mentioned, industries are constantly changing and evolving as a result of the constant competition amongst different companies. As the saying goes, competition breeds innovation. If your team isn’t constantly trying to evolve and adapt to these industry changes, you will soon fall behind.
Depending on the industry, this growth can mean many different things. For some, it means working with the best technology. For others, it simply means staying up to date on the latest lingo and terminology. Regardless of which category you fall into, professional growth is critical for both your team and your company.
There are many benefits to offering professional growth and development opportunities, as discussed in this article. However, it is up to you and your team to determine what type of opportunities are most beneficial to accommodate the needs of your team.
To best determine those needs, communicate with your team, do the research, and consider reading this article on virtual learning strategies. In the meantime, continue to return to BrandResumes’ HR Corner to learn more methods for helping your team grow and develop.