The Secret Industry Sauce: Professional Development

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May 31, 2023

Professional development is important for you and your staff. It helps your organization stay relevant in a fast-changing field, and it gives everyone more tools to do their jobs. According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management and CareerBuilder, 68% of employers said they see professional development as an important factor in employee retention. So, if you're not sure what professional development looks like, we're here to help.

Benefits of Professional Development

  1. It improves skills that are crucial to your organization's success: We all know that we need employees who are capable of doing the job they were hired for. But what about other skills that are important for growth and advancement? For example, if you're an accountant who doesn't know how to code, or a salesperson who doesn't know how to use social media effectively, you're limiting yourself professionally -- and missing out on opportunities that could be right in front of you.
  2. It helps employees grow their careers: Employees who get professional development often move into higher-level positions within their organizations or get promoted more quickly than those who don't take advantage of these opportunities. This means they have more opportunities for advancement, which translates into higher earnings potential over time! Plus, it just feels good when someone recognizes your hard work and rewards it with recognition and promotion.
  3. It makes people happier at work: Studies show that people who receive training in different areas tend to enjoy their jobs more than those who don't get training. This is because people feel more confident and competent when they know they have the skills to do their jobs well.
  4. It helps companies attract and retain talent: When employees are happy, they stay at their jobs longer, which means you'll have a more stable workforce!

It's important to note that there are many types of professional development, but they're all aimed at improving employees' skills and knowledge to better perform their jobs. This could mean learning new software programs, attending conferences, taking online classes, or reading books related to your industry.

Types of Professional Development

  • Networking: Networking is one of the best ways to learn and connect with potential mentors and colleagues. This can be done in person or online through social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter.
  • Mentoring: Mentoring involves being paired with someone who has more experience in a particular field. A mentor may help refine skillsets and teach tips on how to succeed in a career path.
  • Training courses: These are typically structured programs that teach new skills and/or give access to information that can help improve work performance. They might be offered by an employer or by another organization, such as a local university or community center.
  • Workshops: These tend to be less structured than training courses, but they often still offer valuable information on topics relevant to a field or industry. They're also typically shorter than training courses so they can be easier to fit into a tight schedule on short notice.
  • Conferences: Conferences are usually longer than workshops and cover a wider range of topics in greater detail. They're often held in cities outside of where someone lives, so it could take some time to get there and back again, but if the topic is important, it may be worth it.
  • Online courses: These are great for people who want to learn at their own pace and outside of a brick-and-mortar classroom. They're often more affordable than training courses or conferences and they can be accessed at any time.

You may have heard the phrase "lifelong learning" before. It refers to the idea that we should always be growing as professionals and learners throughout our lives. So, if you’re a leader within your organization, start thinking about how to improve your staff or take advantage of the secret sauce yourself!


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