7 ways to support employees’ professional development
The best employers know that it’s important to put professional development at the heart of company policy. Why? Because that’s what your employees are expecting. Talented professionals want to work for a company that helps them develop skills, enrich their knowledge and advance their careers.
Even in these uncertain times, managers should not underestimate the importance of professional development for their workforce.
Otherwise, it can have negative consequences for the morale and productivity of talented employees because they will not feel appreciated at their fair value. And in the longer term, these discouraged employees could leave the company to work with the competition as the job market resumes.
To show your employees that your company and manager want to support their professional development and career advancement, you can apply the following strategies:
1. Interest in the professional goals of its employees
If you supervise a remote team, you know how important it is to communicate frequently with your employees. This interaction should include regular one-on-one meetings with each team member to stay informed of their career aspirations and expectations. When a manager brings this type of support to his or her employees, they feel appreciated, which can result in increased productivity and loyalty to the company.
Help your employees define a potential career path within the company so they can better project themselves into the future. Identify the specific milestones to reach and the accompanying resources they are likely to need during this course. Clear, direct and consistent communication from the manager about career advancement steps can help employees feel more involved.
2. Encourage online training and learning
Ongoing, hands-on training contributes to employees’ professional development. You have some interest in encouraging your team members to take professional courses and workshops that help them advance their careers. Virtual training tools have become indispensable for many teams, and fortunately, there are all kinds of affordable options (although budgets are tighter these days, remember that your company can get a significant return on investment in your employees’ professional development).
In addition to meeting employees’ individual needs and enabling them to acquire specific skills, encourage them to follow industry news. A cost-effective and easy-to-implement method is to organize video training lunches with speakers external or internal to the business. In addition, provide your employees with the time and flexibility to participate in virtual events related to your industry. You can also ask these employees to share the knowledge they have gained during these events with their colleagues.
3. Encourage mentoring
Creating an official mentoring program is one of the best decisions a company can make, both for itself and for the personal and professional development of its workforce. Mentoring can also be an effective tool for advancing new employees into telecommuting.
Although often considered a transfer of knowledge from experienced professionals to less experienced employees, mentoring is based on reciprocity. Those with more seniority can offer their hard-earned knowledge and career advice to their peers, but also benefit from the new look and technological know-how of these promising new hires.
4. Remember the rotation of positions
As the human brain loves variety of knowledge, job rotation is an ingenious way to increase productivity in your employees’ daily routine. What if you allow them to work in different and connected positions across departments – these opportunities will help your team members gain new skills, more to appreciate the work of their peers and better understand the workings of the business.
Job rotation can also be effective in increasing collaboration between departments and building good relationships within a telecommuting team. In addition, having employees with expanded skills can only be beneficial to the company.
5. Promote balance between work and privacy
You have to work hard to achieve their professional goals, but that doesn’t mean employees should spend their lives in the office. Encourage them to work smart and be effective for the time and energy remaining to pursue their non-professional interests. This advice, particularly applies to remote team members who sometimes have trouble separating professional and personal lives.
A proactive approach to your team’s well-being can also prevent stress and the risk of overwork. You can support the morale of your troops by adopting flexible policies that enhance work and personal work. Your employees will have time to do their jobs, to fulfill personal obligations and even participate in professional development activities for career advancement.
6. Present an overview
Reminding employees that everyone contributes uniquely to the company’s mission gives even more meaning to their work. It can also encourage them to take more responsibility and move up the company hierarchy.
Don’t think they are already aware of how their work is part of the company’s mission. Talk to them regularly on how their daily actions make a difference, taking care to highlight the company’s progress toward achieving its key objectives and congratulate each employee whose accomplishments they contribute.
7. Create a succession plan
Succession planning can demonstrate to potential employees that you want to not only invest in their professional development, but also to future business leaders. Create a succession plan for each key extension of the company. This can encourage employees to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to further their careers.
Your employees will be better able to achieve their career goals if they know they can count on their manager’s support. And even if your team is currently telecommuting, the company always has the opportunity to prioritize professional development. Career progression development can have significant and lasting positive effects for your employees. In addition, your company will gain competitiveness in the economic environment relative to other companies.
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