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The importance of professional development programs

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Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager
2016-08-04

Do you ever hear friends or family complaining about feeling ‘stuck’ at work? Maybe you’ve also felt that way sometimes, becoming restless or bored with your job, or dreading the arrival of each Monday morning.

Many people can become unhappy in their jobs after some time, especially if they no longer find their work exciting or challenging. Continuing to be challenged in your role or occupation is an important part of feeling satisfied, rewarded and energized by your work.

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One of the best ways to achieve this is to make sure you keep learning, developing and growing within your role, organization and industry. Professional Development Programs (PDPs) are a simple and effective way to address this need, in the form of personalized action plans that get you from where you are right now to where you want to be in the future.

Develop Your Team with PDPs

As a Manager or Team Leader, you can use Professional Development Programs to help your team members refresh or develop their skills in many different areas.

These can be role-specific skills, for example graphic design, or skills that are focused more on personal development, such as becoming more resilient to change, responding well to feedback or dealing with challenging situations or people.

Managers can work with staff to create a PDP, identifying their individual goals, strategies and desired outcomes for learning and development.

PDPs have become an essential tool for successful companies and organizations, as they have significant benefits for both employees and their managers. Let’s look at some of these benefits.

Benefits of PDPs for Staff

Taking the time to work with your team members on their professional and personal development will help them feel engaged, supported and more in charge of their career path and future. 

By providing sufficient learning and development opportunities to your employees, you’re helping them to learn new skills, experience professional and personal growth, and be better placed for career advancement. You may be surprised to hear that lack of opportunity for advancement and growth is the leading source of stress in the workplace, ranked even higher than low salaries – this certainly highlights the importance of these factors for your staff’s satisfaction.

Employees who receive ongoing training at work report being happier in their roles than those who are either untrained and in over their heads, or unchallenged and feeling stagnant. In fact, over half of today’s workforce considers professional development to be a contributing factor in their job satisfaction, with 58% of Millennials expecting employers to provide them with relevant learning and development opportunities. For the younger generation, it seems that the ability to participate in ongoing training at work has become more of a ‘must have’, rather than a ‘nice to have.’

Outside of the office or away from the job site, learning also helps to keep our minds sharp and active, providing further benefits for an individual’s personal life and wellbeing.

Benefits of PDPs for Organizations

Happy staff, happy organization?

Putting the proper energy into staff development certainly makes for a better workplace culture, which in turn has a positive impact on performance and results. It can also be a great opportunity for Managers to reclaim more of a mentoring role, passing on skills and knowledge to their teams, and in turn, the organization.

Furthermore, with technology developing at such a rapid pace, it’s never been such an important time for companies to invest in structured learning and development for their employees. With PDPs, employees can continually refresh and upgrade their skill sets to keep pace with advancements in ICT, meaning their business won’t get left behind.

Learn More About Personal Development Through Online Training

Online training courses have become a very successful and popular way for staff to receive ongoing learning and development in the workplace.

Your team members can simply enroll and complete training modules online, using a Learning Management System. With the Go1 LMS platform, you can engage staff in self-directed development, through customized training modules they can access anywhere, anytime. 

With more and more staff working out of the office or remotely, online learning is a very effective and flexible approach to learning and development. You’ll also be giving team members the opportunity to take responsibility for their own learning and allow them to complete their training at their own pace.

For Managers interested in finding out more about this topic, there’s even an online course about the importance of PDPs – enroll in Exploring Professional Development to start your own online learning. Throughout the course you’ll look at how discussing future opportunities with staff can increase engagement and ultimately their performance, with professional development offering greater opportunities for growth within the organization.

Hopefully, by investing more attention in your team’s learning and development they’ll soon be on the path to greater work satisfaction, with those Monday morning blues a thing of the past!

 

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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