Professional development plays a key role in the workplace. Employees who engage in developing their professional skills provide more value to the company. These employees bring a greater depth of knowledge to the company. They use this knowledge to improve processes, serve customers and grow within the company. Companies use various methods to promote professional development among their employees.
One way to promote professional development in the workplace involves matching experienced employees with new employees through a mentoring program. Mentors encourage their mentees to develop their skills by taking advantage of educational reimbursement offered by the company by participating in internal training sessions and by learning more about other departments within the organization. Mentors share their own experiences and how they’ve grown from those experiences. Mentors can even attend workplace development sessions with their mentees and hold followup discussions with the mentees.
Another method companies use to promote professional development include sponsoring brown-bag sessions. Brown-bag sessions refer to learning sessions that occur during lunch hour. Companies often host these sessions and include a variety of topics, including a mix of personal development and professional development topics. Sample topics include identity theft, computer training, diversity or goal setting. Companies usually encourage employees to bring their lunches and eat during their sessions. Certain companies provide refreshments as an additional enticement for employees.
Learning Management Systems
Learning management sessions provide convenience and flexibility to encourage professional development among employees. A learning management system provides online access for employees to participate in learning new skills. Companies often subscribe to a set of general courses offered through an educational services company. In addition, companies create their own courses to train employees on company-specific topics. Employees access courses from home or in the office at any time.
Employees enjoy recognition. Recognizing employees who achieve various levels of professional development provides an incentive for employees to create professional development goals and to work toward those goals. These goals include earning higher education degrees, completing internal training programs or passing a national certification exam. Employers can provide recognition by awarding these employees a plaque, by including an announcement in the company newsletter or by acknowledging the accomplishment through a companywide email.