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Top 5 professional development courses

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Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager
2017-07-11

When it comes to your career, professional development is an important part of feeling satisfied, rewarded and inspired by your work.

Employees who receive ongoing professional development report being happier at work than those who are not being sufficiently trained or challenged in their roles. 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.

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Making sure that you’re continuing to improve your skill set will show employers that you’re committed to both professional and personal growth, which is essential if you want to get ahead in your career. One of the best ways to ensure that you keep learning, developing and growing within your role and industry is to invest some time in professional development courses.

Online courses are one of the easiest and best ways to help you get from where you are right now to where you want to be in the future. There are eLearning courses covering a huge range of professional development topics, from role-specific skills like programming and graphic design, to interpersonal ‘soft’ skills such as improving your communication and dealing with change.

To help get you started, here’s 5 of the best online courses around for professional development.

How to Set Yourself Up for Success

One of the best professional development steps you can take to boost your career is learning how to properly set and achieve goals. Identifying goals, setting them, and making them stick is easier said than done. But this course can help you do just that.

As the course outline says, “being able to set a path and stick to it, having the perseverance to make it work, and then recognising when you have found success are all the things great leaders are made of.”

This course is about taking responsibility for managing your professional development to achieve your career objectives. At the end of this course, you’ll feel more confident in knowing how to create and achieve your own goals, while using strategies to overcome any obstacles. You’ll understand the importance of networking and career planning – things you may have overlooked or seen as unimportant in the past – to set yourself up for success.

How to Understand Customer Needs

With customer service being central to many job roles, not just the retail and hospitality industries, it's an important part of your professional development. Whether your customers are internal stakeholders or external clients, your attitude towards customer service is likely to have a big impact on the company or organisation you work for.

Improving your understanding of customer service will help you in identifying your customers' needs while building stronger connections and relationships with them. This course will give you the tools you need to understand your modern customer base and how their needs have changed over time. You’ll explore topics such as:

  • why employee satisfaction is key for customer satisfaction,
  • the link between decision making and emotions, and
  • why exceed customer expectations.

After the course, you’ll be able to review your customer experience strategy and respond more confidently to your customers' needs.

How to Communicate Effectively

As we said earlier, improving soft skills such as communication can be a great place to start if you want to stand out from the competition and climb the corporate ladder.

No matter what role you’re in, or industry you’re working in, being able to communicate with colleagues, stakeholders, clients and senior leaders is one of the most important skills you can have. And if you want to move into a management or team leader position, you’ll need to know how to communicate effectively with your team.

This online course will help you find the right methods and channels of communication, to help lead you to more engaged and productive working relationships. You’ll leave this course with plenty of tips and tricks to use, and a clearer understanding of the environment you're trying to create within your workplace. Improving your communication skills won’t just benefit your work life – you’re bound to see positive benefits in your personal life also.

How to Map out the Customer Journey

Another customer-focused eLearning course, this is interesting material for anyone who is keen to learn more about customer experience and improve their levels of service.

In order to provide extraordinary customer service, you need to understand the journey of your customers. This course teaches you how to map out the customer journey, helping you to understand the critical points in their journey, and how you can make sure their experience at these points is a positive one. You’ll gain important insight into the customer experience, which you can use to improve your customer strategy.

Adding these kinds of skills to your professional development will show your commitment to your customer base and the reputation of your organisation – both very valuable and valued traits in any employee.

How to Succeed through Direction

This online course is particularly good if you’re looking to increase your leadership skills, as it explores strategic direction and ‘big picture’ thinking.

Leaders not only set the direction of an organisation, but also the company culture. This course will help you build a more collaborative and focused work culture by developing strategies that encourage positivity in the workplace.

You’ll learn how to:

  • identify and drive your organisation’s mission, vision and values
  • craft a vision statement
  • establish your values and align them to the business
  • use mission, vision and values to support your team and culture
  • help team members understand how their role fits into the bigger picture.

Even if you’re not currently in a management role it’s worthwhile taking this course. It can help prepare you for a promotion or relief position, giving you a competitive edge over other candidates.

 

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