5 Benefits of Investing in Professional Development
by Lori Morphy, Trainer and Resource Developer – Service Delivery
Investing in professional development is part of the key to success for staff and organizations alike. For any organization, however, the reality is days are busy, budgets are tight, and there’s always more to do. So why invest in professional development? Beyond helping staff grow in their roles, investing in professional development can create long-term dedicated employees that aid the organization as a whole. Here are the top five reasons why you should consider investing in professional development at your organization:
- Provide the best quality supports and services
- Ongoing training expands knowledge, improves performance, and helps staff adapt as the sector and their roles evolve. Training keeps staff up-to-date with current trends and best practices, helping them to provide the highest quality of supports and services possible.
- Retain great employees
- Stand out as an employer of choice and retain top talent by investing in staff development. Staff feel valued, want to increase their knowledge, and have opportunities to continue learning. This may lead to greater staff retention, and you save time and money by not having to hire and train new team members as frequently.
- Re-energize staff
- Professional development opportunities help staff to gain new skills, boost their creativity, embrace new ideas, and see different perspectives. Keep that energy fresh with ongoing learning and development.
- Build leaders from within
- Investing in professional development helps leaders grow from within as staff build skills that will allow them to progress and take on new roles. This builds the leadership pool, provides further opportunities for dedicated staff, and organizations spend less time recruiting and orienting new leaders from outside the organization.
- Enhance the image of the organization
- Having a reputation for investing in staff and providing excellent services draws people to your organization. People want to access supports from great service providers, and potential employees want to join great teams.
However, if time and resources are limited and turnover remains a challenge, how do you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to training? Here are a few ideas that make it easy to give your staff the skills and training they need:
Quick, accessible training that fits their schedule
Offering short training opportunities can give staff skills and knowledge in a specific area and is a quick way to bring new ideas and energy to their work. While more comprehensive training will still be necessary as part of the ongoing staff training plan, look for opportunities that can be taken in just a few hours or less and consider virtual options to get staff that quick bite of information.
Train in groups
Learning is more engaging and impactful when people have the chance to interact with their peers, network, and discuss what they are learning. Training in groups makes the learning richer, and having more people trained at once can be an efficient way to get everyone on the same page.
Take advantage of no-cost or low-cost training
Training doesn’t have to be expensive. Look for training that is available at no cost or low cost. For example, SARC offers a variety of programs to both members and non-members at a competitive price. If you’re a SARC Regular or Associate member, or an Affiliate member that has CLSD funding, you can access 11 different programs at no cost through the COMPASS Training package. Many programs are offered virtually, in-person, online, and in a train-the-trainer format.
Use in-house resources
Invest in Train-the-Trainer opportunities and use your own in-house experts to deliver training to your staff. You can then decide your own schedule and tailor training to meet the unique needs of the people you support, and the services the organization provides. SARC has several Train-the-Trainer options, including Stride, PART, and TLR which can expand training options in-house and build leaders within the organization.
Look for training that can be applied right away
Consider the practical skills and information that staff need to do their jobs every day. Focus on training that gives them a strong foundation and connects the information to their roles in practical ways. SARC offers training specific to a variety of roles including direct support staff, supervisors, executive directors, and boards of directors!
While this list gives you a good starting point when considering professional development for your organization, the benefits of professional development for all levels of staff are truly endless.
Visit SARC Learning Central to get started on building your staff’s fall training schedule today!