Jackie LaMar

5 Unique Options for Professional Development

Companies understand that providing options for professional development online and off helps their workers feel appreciated and spurs company growth, but the method through which employees learn doesn’t always have to be traditional. Workers are used to the same employee retreat, online course or webinar. Instead, offer them some unique options for professional development. 

The Execu/Search Group reported around 86% of employees say they’d leave their current employer for a job with more training opportunities. Don’t feel like you have to lose your top staff members to a bigger corporation. There are plenty of professional development options online. 

Let’s look at some of the better options for professional development and see which ones might suit your business’s needs. 

Shadow a Colleague

Workers within your company likely have select skills they could easily teach one another. Look to your long-term employees to see what they do daily. If there is a specialized skill involved, even just being ultra organized, ask the person to teach another.

When you implement a shadowing program, you accomplish several goals. You take advantage of knowledge already within the corporation. The skilled worker feels noticed and appreciated. Should the person with the specific experience leave the company or retire, you’ll have another one trained to do the same tasks. 

Grow Your Leaders

Do more than focus on your staff. Take time to send your leadership to unusual professional development avenues, such as The Henry Ford’s Invention Convention Worldwide (ICW) program. Management can study everything from better storytelling to better onboarding. 

Look for unique professional development opportunities from local organizations and corporations in your area. You don’t have to send people out of the country for a great training program. You just have to watch for growth options and figure out what your staff can take away from each event. 

Hit the Online Courses

Sites such as Udemy offer professional development online options you can use to address any weaknesses or gaps in knowledge. If you have a graphic artist that struggles to complete flat icon designs, enroll them in a flat icon course.

Allow staff to choose what topics might best help them in their daily tasks. They might stumble upon a learning opportunity you hadn’t thought of but will add to the person’s productivity or the quality of their work. 

Start Job Rotation

A job rotation program keeps employees from growing bored with their daily tasks. It also forces them to learn many roles within the company. Expect some pushback when first implementing any job rotation strategy. People are creatures of habit and they hate big changes.

However, they’ll soon gain skills they can apply to other aspects of their work and come to appreciate the tasks their fellow staff members complete in a given day. 

Join an Organization

Encourage employees to join professional organizations or groups meant to help them build skills. Reward them with incentives when they build a new skill, such as freebies, extra time off, lunch with the boss, etc. 

For example, a team leader might join Toastmasters to improve their speaking skills when they have to speak to the group. The housekeeping team could join a professional cleaners association and get tips on how to deep clean office spaces and disinfect to prevent the spread of viruses.

Many skills are ones that also apply to the workplace. Encourage a growth mindset for your workers both in the office and outside of it. 

Embrace the Extraordinary

Employees growing and thriving are typically part of a company open to change and trying new things. Ask your staff for ideas on how to learn more and keep moving forward. Pay attention to what high tech companies offer their employees and add what you can afford within your budget. Talk to other leaders in your industry for even more ideas. The more you know, the easier it is to find opportunities for growth. 

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Professional development, Tips, Work