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Professional Skills Development: Stimulating Employee Growth

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Training & Development

As the future work economy changes and employers face new challenges, it is essential for employees to maintain their employability through the continuous expansion of their skills and knowledge. Equally, it is also important that employers provide the right supports to foster professional development to capture new ideas and work methods to sustain their growth.

Interestingly, training budgets tend to be reduced during slow times. Yet, it is likely a smart decision to send your team for training when you are going through a slow period and can absorb the decrease in available workers. Therefore, proactive planning can help balance operational requirements with professional development.

Training & Development Options When it comes to Training & Development opportunities, there are a wide variety of resources available. Some of the most popular options include:

• Online Learning In many industries, online news articles, industry journals, blogs, newsletters, webinars, and videos are a key way to stay current. Following tips, trends, and industry updates is a great way for employees to ensure the possess the most relevant knowledge and prevents stagnation.

• Job Shadowing Oftentimes, following another employee for a day, or even a few hours, can help a significant positive impact on employee growth. It also provides opportunities for cross-training as people interact in a learning situation. A junior employee can learn a lot by spending time with a senior employee, but keep in mind that learning can be a two-way exchange. It can even be between two employees at the same job level, but working in different areas for cross-functional learning.

• Formal Learning Many colleges and universities also offer a variety of courses and certificate that accommodate the schedules of busy professionals. Formal learning can be a great benefit at all stages of a career, but can be a more expensive option. Where possible, consider tapping into government grants to fund employee learning opportunities.

• Industry Events Another consideration can be allowing employees to attend workshops, seminars, or conferences hosted by industry experts. This will allow an employee to bring back knowledge and fresh ideas in more specialized areas of practice.

How Employers Can Help In a world where many companies are selling knowledge or need specialized knowledge to spark innovation that keeps companies alive, it is crucial for employers to find ways to support continuous learning and knowledge sharing. Employers can foster an environment that supports ongoing learning in the following ways:

• Encouragement Unless prompted, people may not pursue learning opportunities. Take the time to openly encourage employees to seek out professional development resources. One simple way to spark interest is by sharing blogs and journals with your team, as well as emphasizing the value and benefit of continuous learning.

• Financial Support Learning is both a time and money investment. Employers can cover the costs of tuition, registration, books, software, and travel to make it possible for employees to attend learning events and classes. Look into government sponsored training funds and grants for additional financial support.

• Time for Learning Where possible, employers can also make arrangements for flexible work scheduling to accommodate professional development pursuits.

• Training Facilitation Employers can also invite experts into their companies to host workshops and Lunch & Learning sessions.

Here to Help We can be reached for a free confidential consultation at +1-403-470-5350 or [email protected] For further details on additional HR service offerings, please visit our website at or follow along for more informative tips by joining us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. We also run a complementary LinkedIn and Facebook group called “Insights by HonivaHR” where you can access free information on how to become an effective and legally compliant employer. Or you can sign-up for our quarterly newsletter to have help sent straight to your inbox from our company homepage.

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