Many employers today struggle with low employee retention or an inability to build strong, capable workforces. Local and national headlines stress two issues of significant importance to employees: a reasonable salary and the ability to work from home or in a hybrid office. But a third factor could play a large role in shaping and maintaining a strong workforce — encouraging employee professional development.
The issue with employee retention often stems from the fact that many employees just don’t feel challenged, appreciated, or even properly trained for their roles in a company. And too many companies or those in hiring positions focus only on acquiring employees, and nothing after that. This is unfortunate because encouraging professional development to employees throughout their careers has long-lasting benefits both for the employee and the company.
Brands providing programs focusing on professional development for employees tend to benefit from:
- Employees with higher rates of job satisfaction
- More productive employees
- Increased employee retention
- More creative staff
- Improved efficiency in the workplace
- Strong teams and leaders
With today’s ever-advancing technology, encouraging professional development to employees need not be a difficult, time-consuming, or expensive task. A significant portion of a company’s professional development program can be handled via video. Using video as part of a company’s efforts to encourage employee professional development has the added benefits of increasing employee engagement in a manner that is both cost-effective and accessible to all.
Encouraging Professional Development to Employees is Different Than Training
While employee training is an essential component in developing a strong, skilled workforce, it is not the same as encouraging professional development for employees. Training provides employees with the knowledge they need to perform specific tasks within the company or to understand how a product or service works. On the other hand, professional development focuses more on the long-term growth of the employee. It should be seen as an investment in the employee that enables employees to adapt to new challenges and excel in their professional endeavors.
Top Ways for Encouraging Professional Development to Employees
Knowing some of the best ways to encourage professional development for employees is part of developing a good professional development program. Doing so helps increase employee engagement, retention, and loyalty, and it diminishes employee dissatisfaction and turnover.
Be a Supportive Role Model
Team leaders, managers, and supervisors should serve as the first examples of strong professional development to employees. When employees see their leaders as role models that care as much about their employees' successes as they do their own, they are more inclined to excel. Managers and supervisors should collectively encourage employees to learn more and show that their contributions and efforts are noticed and appreciated.
Making professional development resources readily available is another important step to encouraging professional development to employees. In addition to training materials, hosting seminars, workshops, and other opportunities for learning and knowledge are ideal contributions to career development.
As mentioned above, video is a great way to provide a wealth of resources to an entire workforce. Doing so eliminates the need to schedule meetings or hire trainers, and is increasingly cost-effective because you can use videos repeatedly with current employees and new additions to the workforce.
To truly optimize your video resources, incorporate a professional video hosting and management platform such as Viostream to create an online video library featuring training materials, tutorials, and other videos focusing on skill development. This gives employees access to the tools and resources that help them enhance their value, grow their skill set, and remain relevant in constantly growing and changing fields. Try a free trial of Viostream today and see how it helps companies foster a culture of continual learning to develop high-performing teams.
Coaching and Mentorship
Performance reviews are an ideal opportunity to focus on employee strengths and recognize achievements. At the same time, supervisors and team leaders can discuss plans and actions to aid employees in overcoming their weaknesses. Both informal and formal mentoring can be of great value to both the employee and the company, as it increases employee confidence and strengthens their desire to excel, making the company stronger as a whole.
There are, of course, additional ways to encourage professional development to employees. But the above suggestions serve as a strong foundation for your program's initial development, which can then be expanded over time.
Benefits of Professional Development for Employees
We briefly touched upon some of the benefits of encouraging professional development for employees. Let’s examine some of them in a bit more detail.
Increased Employee Retention
The last thing any company wants to waste is a significant amount of time and money searching for a job candidate, hiring them, training them, and then losing them to another company. But employers that offer opportunities for professional development give employees more reason and desire to stay with a company long-term.
Build Employee Confidence
Employees who are not confident in their skills or position are not likely to be as efficient or productive as they could be. You also build their confidence by giving employees the encouragement, assistance, and resources they need to better themselves professionally. In fact, you could be preparing a future leader in your organization by encouraging professional development to employees.
Final Points on Professional Development for Employees
Encouraging professional development to employees should be a continual process. At the same time, employees should be allowed to learn and grow their skills at their own pace. Forcing professional development onto an employee isn’t likely to achieve the desired effect. This is another reason why video is an excellent option for encouraging professional development for employees. It's there for people who want to use it as soon as they need it.
Viostream is a business-oriented video hosting platform with unparalleled security and analytics features. Our easy-to-use, cloud-based app features best-in-class tools that keep your employees engaged, dedicated video portals, and the ability to integrate with your LMS. Try a free trial of Viostream today to modernize and advance your workforce.