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5 Tips for Professional Growth & Development Opportunities
Sophia Lee
May 9, 2019

The opportunity for professional growth is critical for any company that wants to attract and retain top talent - especially when it comes to the younger workforce. Research by Gallup found that 87% of millennials say professional development or career growth opportunities are very important.

While you may agree with this sentiment, the how is trickier to figure out. You don’t want to fall back to the tired methods of bringing in boring (and expensive) speakers that your employees aren’t engaged with or forcing people to do weekly “brown bag” sessions on topics nobody is interested in. Instead, consider these five alternative ways to promote professional growth:

Idea #1: Set Goals

Professional growth requires direction and guidance from leadership, and goals are an effective way to provide these guidelines. That’s why we encourage companies to make goal setting a formalized process - it gives your employees something tangible to work toward, as well as a reason to celebrate once they hit those milestones. Here are tips to get started:

Idea #2: Introduce New Projects

Another way to promote professional development for employees is to allow them to work on projects outside of their usual role. So if your product manager has shown interest in learning more about data science, give her the flexibility to explore and try on new hats!  A few things to keep in mind:  

Idea #3: Have a Learning Budget

At Blueboard, one of our company values is to “Set Ourselves Up for Success.” This means putting the right resources, training, and tools in place for our employees to be successful. That’s why we offer a use-it-or-lose-it learning and development budget of $1,000 per employee to promote professional development. It’s a new program, but we’re seeing really positive results in the form of utilization - such as how many employees are participating and the depth of the selections they’re making to support individual goals. Here are some best practices we’ve picked up along the way:

Idea #4: Encourage Experiences

It’s a flawed mindset to assume that professional growth only happens inside the office. Diversity in experiences - from starting a side hustle to traveling the world - can help your employees pick up on skills that will help them in their jobs too. Here are a few of our favorite ways to encourage more experiences:

Idea #5: Provide Mentorship

Mentorship is a great way to encourage professional growth. Why? Studies have shown that positive mentorship propels career growth (especially for women), exposes both the mentor and mentee to fresh perspectives, and levels the playing field when it comes to professional opportunities. There are so many ways to execute on this strategy:

Providing opportunities for professional growth is a clear-cut way to be a competitive company. Thankfully, there are many actions you can take today to create those opportunities for your employees.

If you’re curious to learn more about how experiential employee rewards can help fuel the passions, personal goals, and creative needs of your top talent, we’d love to connect. Feel free to reach out via the Request Demo button at top to learn more ^^, or give us a shout in the Live Chat window at the bottom right corner!

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