By Kyle Moore | Harkcon's President
Every month, Harkcon makes a push to have our associates submit/update their individual development plans (IDPs), participate in training courses on Lynda.com, investigate online educational opportunities, and pursue their own professional development. Why? Because it helps both them and the company.
The Changing Workplace Landscape
Companies across America continue to raise the bar with respect to what they expect from their employees. Business experts think this phenomena could be due to the number of older employees staying longer in the workforce, the increasing number of college graduates entering the workforce, or even over-qualified candidates filling lower level jobs. In any case, the experts agree that the best way employees can help themselves is to aggressively pursue professional development opportunities.
Obtaining Employee Buy-in
As employees grow and develop, so does a company’s capabilities, many times in a more economic fashion than hiring new help. Thus, it is usually in a company’s best interests to invest in their employees’ professional development. However, the old saying about leading a horse to water is true; you can provide all kinds of training and professional development opportunities, but if you’re employees aren’t interested, your investment usually doesn’t pay off. Sometimes you need to give your employees a small push in order to get them to buy into their own professional development.
Here are 10 reasons we tell our associates why they should invest in their own professional development:
Stay Relevant in your Field. Professional development ensures your skills and capabilities keep pace with others in the same field of expertise.
Increase your Confidence. The more knowledge and experience you have, the more confident you feel, the more willing you will be to get involved, the more impact you have on those around you, and the more fulfilled your life will be.
Improve your Impact. New concepts, theories, or ideas learned during professional development may improve your effectiveness in completing projects or assignments, increasing your impact on your company and community.
Help your Project Team. Those same new concepts, theories, or ideas may be just the thing your project manager or team lead is looking for in order to meet the next project deliverable or improve customer service.
Create Innovation Opportunities. Studying new/different subjects outside of your field of expertise can create “Aha!” moments that allow you to innovate new strategies, processes or tools within your field of expertise.
Come to the Rescue. Associates who are cross-trained for other jobs have the ability to step up/in when emergency or quick-fill vacancies occur within the company.
Expand your Professional and Personal Network. Professional development programs prove to be an invaluable place for meeting like-minded individuals, as well as providing unique collaboration opportunities.
Increase your Opportunities. Learning new skills and obtaining new competencies/certifications can open the door to more fulfilling (and sometimes higher paying) opportunities within the company and your community.
Achieve your Career Goals. Everyone has a “dream job.” Continually learning and reinventing yourself is a great way to attain that job and achieve your career goals.
Finally, if your employees are still on the fence regarding investing in their own professional development, here’s one last reason:
Set a Good Example for your Children. Kids who see their parents as lifelong learners are more likely to develop those same habits!
Final thoughts If you take care of your people, your people will take care of your business.
We enable our people to maximize their potential by providing professional development opportunities, rewarding innovation, supporting career mobility, and celebrating their success. They, in turn, create a more sustainable organization with an unwavering commitment to excellence…a win-win scenario for all of us!
If you would like to contact the author of this blog, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and reference the title, "Betting on the Partnership: 10 Reasons Why You and Your Employees Should Invest in Their Professional Development."