PR Close-Up: Why Companies Should Offer Professional Development

  • Posted by: Chaloner

Last week, I spoke about the importance of professional development for employees. This week, I’d like to examine the reverse: the need for companies to provide professional development opportunities for their employee base. Employees invest in their companies by handling evolving roles and assuming increased responsibilities. Here is why professional development should be a part of your corporate strategy.

You Know What They Need
At Chaloner, we know that when you’re hiring, you’re not just filling a role, but choosing someone who is a great fit to evolve and advance in the company in the future. But once you have them, you have to meet your end of the bargain and train them as their role may evolve and change. In any given team there are certain skill gaps and no one knows those better than you. Diana O’Brien of Deloitte Consulting compares this to being a manufacturer. You should upgrade your equipment! You know best how they can excel.

It Reduces Turnover
When you invest in your employees, they’re inclined to return the favor. They’re more confident, which leads to greater happiness in their role and that impacts retention. More than that, according to a survey, “Dissatisfaction with some employee-development efforts appears to fuel many early exits.  We asked young managers what their employers do to help them grow in their jobs and what they’d like their employers to do, and found some large gaps.  Workers reported that companies generally satisfy their needs for on-the-job development and that they value these opportunities, which include high-visibility positions and significant increases in responsibility.   But they’re not getting much in the way of formal development, such as training, mentoring and coaching – things they also value highly.” They’re ambitious and want to interact with thought leaders in the communications sphere.

It Attracts Quality Hires
Though employers may be wary of the costs involved in professional development, there’s a cost of not doing it. Not only is the potential turnover expensive, your company may be losing out on higher quality hires who are seeking companies who will offer professional development. General Electric explains that its Leadership and Learning Programs believe “learning is more than a classroom activity. It’s how we come together to embrace change, develop skills to change things for the better, and get energized about it all.” But the people your professional development can attract, along with the culture of learning and innovation, is valuable beyond a price.

This has been the final entry in our series PR Close-Up! Thanks so much for reading.