It is no secret that people are critical to the success of any organization.
When companies invest in their employees through professional development programs, employee confidence and capability increases, which is beneficial for people at all levels of performance.
Underperformers become positive contributors while top performers take everything to the next level. But it’s not just the employees themselves who gain; the organization benefits too.
Below are three key ways that the value of professional development is realized:
Builds employee loyalty. Employees who are given opportunities to improve and grow view the organization they work for in a more positive light. When people feel valued they are willing to put forth more effort to help their organization be successful. In addition, people are more likely to remain in their jobs when they feel their employer invests in them.
Surveys and research commonly identify ‘insufficient professional development and career progress’ as a key motive for turnover. In fact, a survey of employees conducted by Glassdoor reported ‘lack of career growth’ as the top reason employees leave.
Improves recruiting. Top talent is attracted to organizations that provide them with challenging opportunities and the ability to grow. Therefore, organizations should actively market their development programs when recruiting new hires.
A survey of senior search consultants in the Harvard Business Review reported that there are a number of factors candidates assess when job seeking. However, the consultants agreed that “when it comes to the job itself, the single most sought-after characteristic is opportunities for career advancement and personal growth.”
Succession planning. Preparing future leaders is something all businesses need to do in order to meet objectives and ensure the company’s future success. Professional development training helps organizations identify gaps and provide employees with resources to improve in their specific areas of opportunity.
Chief Executive has emphasized the importance of talent development by ranking the ‘best companies for leadership development’ each year. The top 15% had market capitalization growth of 122% over the last 10 years compared to 37% growth for the bottom 15%.
Each of the above benefits is maximized if organizations develop the right skill sets for their industry. Development must go beyond basic business training. Companies should first define the skills and competencies that are important for each job and career success, and then measure employees’ capabilities to identify unmet needs. By focusing on real, meaningful opportunities in the workplace, employee development becomes a worthwhile investment in an organization’s long-term success. Professional development should be a critical part of every organization’s talent management strategy. It is a proven talent management practice that benefits everyone.