As a leader, what is the best gift you could give your team this holiday season? Especially with holiday parties taking a hiatus this year, why not give your employees the gift of professional development?
While annual raises are always a viable and appreciated option, investing in your employees through professional development is a personal touch that shows how much you value their contributions.
If you want your employees to enjoy this benefit to its fullest, you need to make sure you are doing your part — besides just supplying the financial support.
Be aware of and remove any barriers. What good is the gift of a professional development training or workshop allowance or budget for each employee if they cannot find a way to attend? If they are inundated with work and their supervisor or manager isn’t carving out time for them to pursue these professional development opportunities, then this is all for naught. . This leads to our next point on how to avoid these scenarios…
Create a culture of professional development. Breed a culture of lifelong learning and encourage employees to continue upskilling. They should feel empowered to come to their supervisor with a professional development workshop that they feel would benefit them and the company. Managers should be open and accommodating—as much as deadlines and projects allow — to send their team to relevant professional development trainings as they become available.
Develop your own internal professional development program. This seems like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be as simple as buying a bulk license for all employees to access online learning platforms, like Lynda.com or LinkedIn Learning, to acquire new skills or review the most up-to-date best practices in their current expertise. And it doesn’t just have to be hard skills—soft skills such as conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, and effective communication can be excellent workshop offerings.
Leaders, if you don’t take the time to invest in and develop your team members, someone else will! If you want to attract and retain top-tier talent, you need to give them the opportunity—and budget dollars—to add skills to their expertise. That kind of support often breeds extremely loyal employees.