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3 ways to promote professional growth

Promote professional growth

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Companies often misunderstand professional growth and development as promotion. While a successful development plan can help an employee secure a promotion, growth doesn’t always have to involve it. At work, employee development is the process of enhancing and expanding the skills and knowledge of an organization’s workforce. The importance of employee development varies, and one of its main goals is to promote employees’ professional growth. The process begins with an understanding of one’s strengths that allow them to perform productively and be proud of their work. According to Gallup, when companies make strategic investment in employee development and professional growth, they report an increase of 11% in profitability and are also twice as likely to retain employees.

Employees are craving challenging and meaningful work, and when it comes to career growth, 42% of employees value their companies’ training and development the most. In this blog, you will find top employees’ development areas for HR leaders in 2024 and ways that managers can support their employees’ personal and professional growth.

3 important areas of employee development at work

1. Skills enhancement

The era of disruption is here, and employees are seeking ways to continuously enhance their skills and stay relevant in the competitive workforce. According to the World Economic Forum, analytical thinking is seen as a core skill by most companies, accounting for 9% of the core skills reported in 2023. Skills development is an ongoing training, and while companies are paying billions to build the right strategies and identify the skills needed for their employees, employers all over the world estimate that 44% of employees’ skills will be disrupted in 2028. This is due to the rising importance of problem-solving, technology literacy, and AI and big data in the workplace. It is more important than ever that companies use the right mix training, education, and hands-on experience to help employees develop and apply the skills they need for growth and success.

2. Knowledge cultivation

Continuous learning fuels employee engagement, especially when learning is linked to employee development, such as personal fulfillment or upward mobility. When companies build a culture of knowledge sharing and cultivation, this factor becomes a key driver of employee retention and talent attraction. Employees who are skilled learners, moreover, can adopt different problem-solving strategies, turn new knowledge and skills into performance improvement, and participate in knowledge sharing to encourage collaboration.

3. Teamwork communication

When one person wins, everyone wins. That is the win-win company culture we promote at Achievers. Employees who are experts at their job have a comprehensive grasp of knowledge in their field and an ability to share and communicate their knowledge to others. Effective communication involves important soft skills, such as active listening and relationship building to help employees grow a meaningful and professional network. With opportunities for skills and knowledge sharing, teamwork and collaboration is the foundation of a great company culture and a key factor in employees’ professional growth.

3 ways managers can support their employees’ personal and professional growth

Achievers Workforce Institute (AWI)’s 2023 research on manager effectiveness found that while 47% of managers say they have received training on how to support their employees’ development, it is still the most requested area for further training. Managers can start supporting their employees’ professional growth in three ways: identify new projects and opportunities, engage in knowledge sharing activities, and encourage employees to attend industry conferences and events.

Promote professional growth with new projects or responsibilities

1. New projects or responsibilities

Give employees the chance to take the initiative to develop their own opportunities. Allow them to “break things” and learn from those mistakes. It provides a great opportunity for learning, innovation, and professional growth. McKinsey’s Great Attrition research found that the primary reason for employees’ job quitting is the lack of new opportunities where they can be challenged. The right projects allow employees to enhance or develop new skills and strengths, and the best way for employers to maximize employees’ strengths is through their managers. Engagement surveys is one way to help managers understand and identify the right opportunities for employees’ professional growth. Managers should schedule regular check-ins with their employees, discussing career development plan and identifying opportunities early in their tenure.

Promote professional growth with knowledge sharing

2. Engage in knowledge sharing

Organize monthly meetings where you offer courses for employees to learn a new skill and welcome their input on the topics. The training could be geared toward hard skills, like advanced Excel tips, or soft skills, like interpersonal communication. Employees will appreciate the opportunity to learn new programs and diversify their capabilities. It is a great opportunity to present new challenges to employees and give them a “trial-and-error” phase for learning a new skill or reaching outside of their current comfort zone, department, or area of expertise. Skills development is a long-term process, and managers should look into the 70/20/10 learning model to build the right mix of training, exposure, and hands-on experience for employees.

Promote professional growth by attending conferences and events

3. Attend industry conferences/events

Allow employees to attend industry events to learn best practices that they can apply in their own job. Research has shown that digital networking opportunities, such as online industry conferences, can lead to new business opportunities and better work performance. Industries are constantly evolving, and business moves at a fast pace, so employees need to keep up with the latest research, knowledge, tools, etc. to stay relevant and at the top of their game. These events will boost professional growth and help them gain the necessary tools to be successful

Prioritize professional growth

How does your company promote personal and professional growth for employees? Take our top tips and start prioritizing professional growth. To build effective development plan for your employees, start by listening to your employees’ strengths and needs and read our white paper, “Empowerment and Trust: Create a Culture of Feedback with Employee Listening”.

Manager Effectiveness Report
2024 Engagement and Retention Report
Empowerment and trust in the workplace whitepaper
Profile image of author: Aleksandra Masionis

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