From an employee point of view professional development is about further learning to lengthen and enhance your career skill set. For an employer professional development is about ensuring employees have the knowledge and enthusiasm to do their job in the best possible way. Companies and individuals benefit from professional development but as it is usually companies who bare the time and financial cost, they need to weigh up the pros and cons.
Increased effectiveness of employees – this is usually the reason behind most companies taking up professional development activities. Skills learnt in school and university can updating and refreshing as the workplace changes. The better employees are trained to do their job the more effective they will be and the higher their output. Additional training o old staff to improve their skill set is much quick and more cost effective than employing new staff.
Cost of training–an employer need to decide if the cost of bringing in a trainer or investing in online learning is worth the improved employee skills. If the professional development courses required are conducted by private companies or require staff to travel the price of train may seem to outweigh the benefit of increased employee effectiveness. Employees should consider online learning. Many modules can be completed by employees on the internet. Once the modules have been purchased they can be reused without travel or instructor costs.
Increased employee morale – being singled out for special training can help employees to feel special, like they are being recognized and rewarded for their hard work. Though for this benefit to materialize professional development must be addressed by management as a reward not a punishment for lack of work or skills. This can also have flow on effects of inspiring other employees to work harder so they can be considered or the next round of professional development activities.
Cost of decreased productivity – if the company is small or if the employee who will be undergoing training is an integral part of daily operations absences due to development days can lead to decreased productivity. When numerous staff are involved in one training session productivity will surely be reduced considerably. Employers need to decide if this is a reasonable cost when weighed against happier more effective staff.
Adaptability – the market place is always changing. Companies which cannot adapt will be left behind. A flexible company needs staff which can quickly cope with changing work roles, industry standards and practices. Only though continued learning, contact with other professionals and exposure to new ideas can this be possible.
Staff seeking new employment – there is a fear that if employers improve their staff to much employees may beging to seek better employment elsewhere. Studies show companies with relevant professional development programs generally have employees with greater job satisfaction. People want to do their job well and professional development allows them to do that.
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