Professional development is the path of learning and growth employees take throughout their career. Many people feel that small businesses don’t offer a lot of opportunities for growth because there may not be a clear, linear career path. But, most employees (especially engaged employees) don’t want to stay stagnant in their job and appreciate opportunities to learn more. This is where a professional development program can be helpful. Here are some whys and hows to creating a professional development program: 

Why Professional Development?  

  • Stronger Employees: Employees that know more about their job and the company are more engaged and easier to retain. Taking the time to educate your employees will pay off in company productivity 
  • Employee Satisfaction: Employees feel more motivated at work with the goals and growth that come through professional development programs 
  • Retention: Employees want to work at places that give them a clear path for success in the futureEncouraging employee growth can give employees the future they want. 

How to Create a Professional Development Program 

  • Start Small: Not all learning needs to be big or in depth. Small learning opportunities can be enough to keep employees engaged. Newsletters, articles, and seminars are great ways to help employees learn.  
  • Mentorships: Mentorships can be a huge benefit to your company. Mentors and mentees both get to learn and be more engaged in your company through mentorship programs. This can be an easy way to promote learning within your company. If you want to improve your mentoring program, download our Mentoring Program Toolkit by clicking the button below.

Download the Toolkit

  • Learning Programs: Several companies offer learning programs and courses for your employees. You can partner with these companies to have access to fully fleshed out professional development programs. Some options include LinkedIn Learning, Alison, and Udemy. 
  • Ask: Not every employee needs to be trained on the same thing. Ask your employees what would be most helpful for them to learn and take that into consideration. This will ensure that you aren’t wasting time or money on a learning program that no one will use.  

Creating a professional development program will benefit both your employees and your company. Follow this advice to kick off your professional development program.