The Best Ways to Encourage Professional Development.

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Aside from the salary perks, professional development opportunities are some benefits employees seek in a company. But employee development is not only about developing your employees’ basic job skills. It’s also about encouraging them to grow their professional skills and supporting them in their careers. In doing so, you can strengthen your team and boost employee morale, which brings numerous benefits to your company.

Here are some of the best ways to encourage professional development.

Create Individualised Plans for Development 

Spending time with every team member is a great way to get to know them and their learning styles, and that’s one of the keys to successful employee development. So, take the time to discuss what your team members believe would mostly be beneficial to them. Talking with your team helps you create a personalised plan for every employee you manage, which can help increase productivity and ensure your employees feel respected and valued at work. 

When creating individualised development plans, talk to your team about their professional goals, strengths, and weaknesses. Also, consider the different types of goals that you can help them achieve, either through mentoring or training. For smaller businesses, creating development plans is easy. On the other hand, larger companies can establish strategies to devise individualised plans that can help every employee develop and improve their unique skill sets. 

Individual development planning can benefit the organisation by aligning employee development efforts with its mission and goals. By creating individualised plans, managers will better understand their employees’ professional goals and have an idea about their development needs. 

Encourage Communication 

Regular communication is one of the keys to success for any organisation. Your team members will appreciate it if you regularly communicate with them, as it assures them that you are doing everything to improve employee development in the company. 

Since the employees will receive the training development, they will have ideas or suggestions on how you can provide effective mentorship and support. When you find out what they need and want, you can adapt your professional development programs to suit the requirements, resulting in improved retention and employee satisfaction. When employees feel comfortable communicating new ideas openly, innovation and cooperation will be at an all-time high in the workplace. 

A more effective and cohesive team will emerge if open communication is encouraged. Proper communication can also boost employee morale. Employees are more secure in their roles if they are well-informed of the company’s vision and direction. Regular communication within the organisation can also result in an improved work ethic, especially if the employees are reminded of their achievements and feel they are working toward achieving a common goal.

Training 

People who are good communicators, open, self-assured, focused, persistent, and decisive are not born with these traits. These are developed over time through experiences and sometimes through formal educational coursework. But in most cases, they come from the determination to discover what personal development is and how to acquire it through training.

When you let your employees undergo personal development training, they will start with an assessment of who they are, where they came from, their strengths and weaknesses, etc. Self-awareness is the first step to personal development. If they don’t have a clear picture of who they are right now and what to become, they won’t be able to set clear goals for future development.

Everyone has goals, but they could become mere wishes since there’s no plan on how to achieve these. Personal development training can help employees develop the traits and skills necessary for implementing a goal achievement plan. Employees can even complete e-learning and training courses online, making it easier to access this information at any time. Overall, many benefits come with self-development training. And once they are self-developed, they can become more valuable to employers.

Create Team Productivity Sessions 

Facilitating team productivity sessions with team members is one way to show members how to accomplish specific tasks and lead by example. During these sessions, your staff can ask questions throughout the process, understand every step involved, and see if they can accomplish the assigned tasks. 

Team productivity sessions can apply in different settings at work. For instance, if you’re a sales manager, you can conduct team sessions where you do cold calls and show examples of specific verbal sales strategies. You can also teach your team how to handle sales objections. You can also use the session for brainstorming, a problem-solving method for developing ideas as a team. It’s a chance for everyone to be creative, throw ideas, and decide which of these will work. The goal is to create a judgment-free space for everybody to participate, allowing innovation to thrive. 

Team productivity sessions are some of the best ways to help your employees to develop. Just make sure to encourage everyone to contribute. Go around the table and ask for an idea or suggestion from every individual.

Create Good Relationships 

Building relationships in the workplace is one way to encourage professional development and make work more enjoyable. If employees have positive relationships with their colleagues, they will be more productive since being friends with the people you work with can improve well-being and boosts morale.

Co-workers who have good relationships with each other will be more likely to do their jobs well when undertaking a project. Since they respect their teammates, they will be more motivated to perform to the best of their abilities. Moreover, good communication can help them effectively perform various tasks. Having positive office relationships can also improve productivity. Employees who enjoy working with one another tend to work harder since they are satisfied with their current situation and want their company to be successful.

Another benefit of creating good relationships is improving employee morale. The psychological state of the employees will have an overall impact on their productivity. In addition, these employees will be more likely to stay longer, leading to improved employee retention rates. Employees close to each other are less likely to seek employment elsewhere because they are satisfied with their work and don’t want to lose their relationships with their co-workers.

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Like Minds is a global thought leadership platform delivering world class events on business development, knowledge and insight aimed at entrepreneurs and business leaders to engage, stimulate and empower them to become global businesses of the future. We also offer a bespoke service for corporate clients and training programmes under the Like Minds U brand. For more information please email bespoke@wearelikeminds.com