While it is not the first time, I was recently approached by a nation wide company looking for professional development services at fire sale prices. Why this came as such a shock was because this high profile company is known for both it’s rapid growth and for it’s formidable profits. Yet despite a growing chorus of employee feedback citing a lack of professional development opportunities, they just couldn’t sum up the will to invest much in this. Not a good sign. Employees today want and need proper attention paid to their career development. Organizations that don’t pay attention to this eventually pay the price.
The Benefits of Continuing Professional Development
One of the major problems affecting morale in the workplace today is the belief that the company or organization they work for does not value their staff. While it may be a well worn cliche, it is a fact that you get out what you put in. Companies that invest in their staff development have a better performing workforce. Employees are more likely to work harder, work outside of their contractual hours or do jobs that are not covered in their contract when they believe they are valued by their employer.
Professional development makes an individual’s working life more interesting, which in turn increases job satisfaction, meaning the organization benefits from highly motivated and productive staff members. This is something that is priceless…especially during tough economic times and stiff competition.
Building Loyalty and Ownership in your Workforce
One of the most common problems with a workforce that lacks development is a lack of ownership. Training on either work related or non-work related issues results in increased loyalty that simply cannot be gained from offering instant bonuses for hitting targets or achieving output. This is because the latter says that you care about figures and output whereas the former shows that you care about your people…and this is where loyalty is formed.
Talented and enthusiastic workers want to advance. That does not necessarily mean that they want to advance in position, earnings or benefit, although they help. In many cases, people are happy to continue working in the same job longer if they are advancing their skill set and ability to perform. It’s the sense of achievement that drives talented people.
Organizations have a key role to play in helping their talent up-skill and if they help these individuals dig deep and develop their skills, it will drive productivity. Now more than ever is the time to invest wisely, especially in professional development, because if organizations think the cost of competence is expensive, then they should consider the cost and implications of incompetence