5 Tips: How to Build an Employee Professional Development Program
- Starting a professional development program takes time and commitment
- Revisiting company goals at least every 3-5 years
- Continuous assessment of employee skills is needed to determine what courses to offer
- Build a culture that allows time and space for employees to take courses
- Keep courses current and relevant
- Starting a professional development series takes time and commitment:
- The best professional development programs are the ones with thoughtful intention and planning.
- The tasks must be a top-down initiative to ensure leadership buy-in and to start building a culture where professional development is a priority.
- Interviewing department leads, employees, and other staff regarding their expectations and appetite for professional development will help shape the pathway.
- Revisiting company goals at least every 3-5 years:
- Offering professional development that aligns with company goals is the only way to ensure the sustainability of a professional development program.
- Company goals change; therefore, the professional development program should change.
- Continuous Assessment of Employees’ Skills:
- Employees are well educated; do not force them to take a class they can teach themselves. Skills assessments are a great way to help gauge the employee’s ability in a particular skill, then collaborate with the employee to determine the next steps.
- Build a culture that allows time and space for employees to take professional development:
- It’s not enough to offer employees professional development; they have to be allowed time to take it without feeling guilty. The managers need to support and create space for employees for professional development.
- Keep courses current and relevant:
- Outdated professional development is a waste of time and money. Updating courses that align with company goals but offer the latest content will help move the company in the right direction and provide employees with relevant and transferable skills.