Investing in Professional Development for Your Employees

As we’ve all seen throughout the past several months, employees are looking for more attractive and unique benefits beyond a great salary, a decent amount of time off, and good health insurance. Especially in the hiring environment we’re in, it’s crucial now more than ever for organizations to offer competitive benefits that will not only attract but also retain top-notch candidates.

Professional development — the act of improving yourself through learning and training to advance your career, according to Indeed — is an outside-of-the-box benefit that provides an advantage to both you, as the employer, and your employees.

If your organization is starting to explore offering professional development opportunities, find out why they’re beneficial and how you can get started with implementing them.


Why Is Professional Development Beneficial to Employers?

It’s no secret that investing in professional development makes a positive impact on both employers and employees. Although professional development is, of course, an excellent way for employees to improve and finetune their skills, the benefits go well beyond that.

It Attracts Top Talent

In a corporate setting, high performers are constantly seeking opportunities to challenge themselves and expand their skills, according to Forbes. Additionally, as shared in an article published by the Harvard Division of Continuing Education, 74% of employees feel that a lack of professional development opportunities are preventing them from reaching their full potential.

This means that many employees truly value the opportunity to further their education and career in a variety of ways. As candidates make a change in their career and search for new roles, they’ll prioritize the organizations that are invested in their employees’ growth.

It Increases Employee Retention

The Harvard Division of Continuing Education also shares that 94% of employees would stay longer at a company if it invested in staff development. Additionally, employees with professional development opportunities have 34% higher retention, according to The Wharton School. Employees are constantly looking to expand their skills and knowledge. A primary reason why they seek a new role is they feel stagnant in their current position and desire the chance to keep growing and learning beyond their skill set. The cost of recruiting, onboarding, and training new employees can be expensive, which means it’s more cost-effective for an organization to retain the employees they currently have. Providing professional development opportunities ensures that employees stay at the company, preventing this problem from occurring.

Not only does losing employees come to a monetary cost to the company but it also means that employers are losing out on the skills and knowledge of their employees, so retaining employees is crucial in more ways than one.

It Engages Staff

Two causes of decreased productivity in the workplace are job dissatisfaction and boredom, as noted by Forbes. When employees are faced with new challenges and opportunities, therefore feeling excited about their work, the outcomes include higher-quality work, less mistakes, and increased productivity. Professional development helps to make this happen. Every employer wants their employees to feel passionate about their work and what they contribute to the company, which supports improving the bottom line.

Additionally, it’s noted by The Wharton School that employees with professional development opportunities are 15% more engaged at work. When employees feel more engaged, it results in more project completion and better work.

It Creates a Succession Plan

What could be better than preparing your current employees for future leadership roles within the company? Although hiring externally for executive roles has its own perks, there’s a lot to be said about the opportunity to hire internally. This provides your organization with the ability to “mold” your employees to fit the needs, values, and skills it’s looking for. As these individuals are already familiar with the company, they’re able to easily transition into leadership roles, which may take longer to happen with outside hires.

Also, as Forbes points out, employees watching their coworkers get promoted may influence them to push for more opportunities and advancement themselves. Employees who desire upward mobility is a win-win situation for all!


Creating a professional development program for your organization isn’t as difficult as it may seem, but it should be a gradual, intentional process. As with any investment, it’s best to set a clear plan that ensures you’ll reach success.

Set Goals

Before your organization can begin offering professional development opportunities, determine what goals you hope to achieve through them. That may include:

  • Improving employee performance
  • Increasing employee retention
  • Enhancing employee skills and knowledge
  • Creating future leaders
  • Gaining competitive advantage in the industry

Once you know what your desired outcomes are, you can then create a plan to bring you closer to reaching those goals.

Gather Input from Your Employees

As you start to seek professional development options, it’s crucial to speak with your employees and gather input from them first to ensure you’re providing them with what they’re looking for. An employer who truly prioritizes their employees’ growth will work to offer opportunities that they know their employees want, rather than offering something that they think their employees will want.

Ask them about:

  • Skills they’d like to learn
  • Their preferred learning styles or formats (workshops, conferences, classes, etc.)
  • Goals they have for their career
  • Their timelines for reaching these goals

From there, you can pull together opportunities that align with your employees’ interests and preferences, giving them several options to choose from.

Offer a Variety of Learning Opportunities

Everyone learns and retains information differently, so it’s crucial to offer a variety of educational opportunities that best suit your employees’ learning styles. Pull together professional development offers that include:

  • Classes
  • Workshops
  • Webinars
  • Conferences
  • 1:1 mentoring

By creating a diverse plan, you’re providing a well-rounded experience to your employees that will make their learning more engaging, manageable, and effective.

Evaluate Performance and Adjust

Once your employees start participating in professional development activities, be sure to evaluate their performance and note the effectiveness of the program. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are we hitting our goals?
  2. Have our employees expanded their skills and knowledge?
  3. Is this helping us to stand apart from others in the industry?

If you discover that this plan is making a positive impact on your employees and organization, then it’s an indication that you’ll want to keep offering these opportunities. On the other hand, if you aren’t seeing the results that you hoped to, troubleshoot to see what can be adjusted moving forward so that you’re on the right track to success.


Partner with MomUp

If you’re looking for additional resources for creating a solid employee base, we’re here to help. At MomUp, we specialize in supporting organizations who are ready to attract the best candidates for their open positions while amplifying the talent of underrepresented communities. We work with our clients to build diverse teams and ensure that those candidates feel supported and secure in their new workplace, regardless of their sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Additionally, we prioritize creating flexible work environments that provide equal opportunities for all candidates.

Get started with MomUp today!