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Why Every Workplace Needs to Encourage Professional Development

By: Benefits by Design | Thursday October 25, 2018

Updated : Thursday August 6, 2020

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about the importance of a good workplace culture, but what that looks like can vary widely depending on the workplace. Some might have a focus on health and wellness, while others focus on work-life balance and flexible schedules (some might even do both!)

Yet one thing that is sure to build a thriving and engaged workplace full of new ideas, innovation and informed business decisions is a focus on continuous learning and professional development.

What Exactly is Continuous Learning and Professional Development?

Continuous learning is defined as “a constant state of learning new skills or tools”. We’re going to add “techniques” to this definition as well – keeping up to date on the latest methods and processes can really work wonders.

A workplace that is continuously learning is constantly on the alert for industry trends that can help make informed business decisions or new technologies to increase efficiency. Instilling this desire to learn in your employees and providing them with the resources they need to do it is a great way to begin building a company culture that encourages growth and professional development.

Why is Professional Development Important?

Both employees and employers can benefit from professional development in different ways. Employees can obtain valuable knowledge and experience, while employers gain increased business efficiency, competitiveness and employee engagement!

#1. Personal and professional growth

Learning new skills and information gives you confidence in your role, increases your performance, and may open up new and exciting opportunities for different responsibilities and positions.

#2. Keeps your knowledge relevant

What works well today may not work well tomorrow. Techniques change, programs are updated with new features and information becomes outdated. Staying on top of things ensures you’re working from the best information available!

#3. Networking opportunities

Many of these events bring together a group of like-minded people seeking to learn more about a particular topic. This can lead to fantastic networking opportunities for you and your personal and professional growth.

Why Should Employers Encourage Professional Development?

#1. Keeps you competitive

The business landscape is always changing. Encouraging employees to develop professionally (and giving them the resources to do so) puts you ahead of the game.

#2. Betters your business

Investing in employees’ growth and development ultimately betters your business. Employees are more knowledgeable, engaged and able to bring new ideas to the table.

#3. Employee engagement

Professional Development builds employee engagement and positive sentiments towards your brand. Employees are more engaged in their work when they have the confidence and the skills to do it effectively.

How We Think of Professional Development

At Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc., we consider professional development to be an investment in our employees for the future benefit of our business. As part of our Total Rewards Program, we offer $1,000 in professional development and one full week of paid time off to all of our employees. These can be used to learn a new skill, increase their own knowledge or gain a certification or accreditation related to their field.

For example, many of our employees have used their time and dollars to pursue their Group Benefits Associate (GBA) certification. This provides them with valuable knowledge and skills that they can bring to our clients, and we gain a more educated and skilled workforce. Everyone wins!

Professional development (though important) is only one aspect of a total compensation package.

Here are 10 additions to create a total compensation package!