It’s not rocket science to understand that it’s beneficial to your business if your employees are engaging in some sort of professional development. What maybe gets overlooked, is the importance of it.
If you’re employed in any type of leadership position, the chances that you’ve encountered a Jon Gordon book are probably as close to 100% as statistically possible. In “The Carpenter”, Jon writes about the importance of being a “craftsman” versus being a “carpenter.” I’ll let you read the book and have Jon explain the difference of those two terms, and just skip to the punch line I was going for. “When you become a craftsman in a world of carpenters, you’ll stand out, and people will clamor to work with you.” Now this world has plenty of room for carpenters, but if what you’re seeking is to set your company apart and retain employees at a higher level, allow them to become a craftsman, or craftswoman, by enabling their professional development.
Our CEO David Dietz often says, “Preference does have a budget, but when it comes to professional development, we have an open checkbook.” Now the open checkbook thing I’m guessing has some limitations I don’t know that we’ve tested, but we all get what he means. Although there are many reasons we love our jobs at Preference, that statement alone shows we are all valued employees, and I think there’s one thing we can all agree on…. A valued employee, is a happy employee.
Happiness isn’t the only thing that comes from professional development. The other obvious benefit is the knowledge that’s gained from it. What gets missed however, is the understanding that partaking in professional development only helps you. That couldn’t be further from the truth in my experience. Most of our consultants have achieved at least one employment law certification at Preference by earning their CSP, or CSC certification through the American Staffing Association. Having your CSP or CSC is not a requirement of the job here. In fact, there’s an extremely low percentage of recruiters that have this certification in our industry. But by having an environment that enables and encourages its employees to develop their craft, has resulted in all of our consultants striving for this achievement. I call out this example because federal employment and labor laws are probably not on the top of most people’s lists to get excited about. Yet at Preference, our consultants are excited to put in the work it takes to achieve that certification, and the result is an endless number of coworkers, candidates, and our client companies that benefit from the information they can provide.
What’s the first step you can take? Provide employees the time. LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report found 94% of employees surveyed would stay at a company longer if they invested in their career, and the #1 reason they felt held back from learning was because they felt they didn’t have enough time. So essentially, don’t bother if you’re not providing the time. It’s a big reason why a Forbes.com article said 78% of employers say they are providing training or development opportunities, but that a majority of professionals don’t agree.
To sum up, allow your employees to become a master of their craft. The impacts to their job satisfaction, the experience they can provide your customers, the ability to retain your employees and attract new ones, and the culture that develops, will far exceed the expense and time that goes along with it.