Why you need to make your employees’ professional development a priority

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

Most small businesses are great at training their employees in the skills that they need to do their job on a day-to-day basis, but it’s not enough to train them vocational skills. You need to take into account their professional development as a whole.

Here’s why it’s important to have a strong professional development process.

To train your future leaders

All of your activities should be done with one eye on the future. Why wouldn’t you want people to rise through the ranks and lead your departments or entire company one day? Many employers are worried that if they invest heavily in their people, they then might leave for better jobs, and that is a risk. You need to build a company that is somewhere people want to stay and people from other companies want to work at. Use leadership assessment tool to track the skills of your current and potential leaders.

To retain talent

During the COVID pandemic, many people took the time to re-evaluate their career and their life as a whole. This has led to what business commentators are calling ‘the great resignation’ as people leave their jobs to look for more meaningful work with companies that care about them.

Not investing in your people will lead them to walk out the door, leaving you to deal with high staff turnover, productivity dips and recruitment costs.

To gain a competitive edge

Every company wants to do better than their competition. And you do that with the help of skilled employees. Failing to invest in upskilling will leave you lacking the right people to do the job and achieve your company goals. If your competitor’s are building a better company culture than you, and investing in their people, it’s only a matter of time before this becomes apparent in market share.

Don’t wait until you’re already loosing ground, start investing in professional developent now so that you’re reaping the benefit of these skills.

To make them happier In their roles 

There’s more to a good job than a salary and superficial perks. To get truly engaged employees, you need to really nail your company culture. Invest in the health and wellbeing of your team, implement consistent reward and recognition and also invest in their future development.

Happy employees make for a great culture that is more productive, safer and directly contributes to profits.

To make them better at their jobs

Well trained employees are better equipped to excel in their roles. Good people can make a huge impact on your organization as they go above and beyond their job title to do their best.


Professional development is often left to the individual to take care of themselves. This can cause a disconnect between your employees and leadership. Expecting them to upskill themselves and then exploit that is a surefire way to increase your staff turnover. While employees should always be actively improving their professional development, having the support of their employer is a huge advantage, showing that you value not only the job that they are doing for you now, but their potential for the future too.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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