In a recent e-mail exchange with the leader of a new organizational client, concern was expressed about how professional development initiatives, once started in the organization, diminish over time. I have discovered that when this situation occurs, the impact can be more than financial: emerging cynicism towards such initiatives can be an obstacle to successfully implementing future professional development activities.
In my opinion, these programs/strategies which are so critical to internal leadership development, employee retention and engagement should be pursued with the same commitment, long term vision and resource allocation as other strategic initiatives important to an organization’s success.
Can ‘professional development’ truly become an organizational cultural attribute? YES! The CEO’s of two past client organizations told me on separate occasions “Professional development is what we do”. In other words, they recognize that the long term viability of their organizations depends on a stable, well trained work force. Even during lean times, professional development is not eliminated.
The keys to sustaining professional development initiatives are found in answers to these questions:
- Does ‘professional development’ appear as a recognized organizational value?
- How does our current workforce match the future needs of our organization?
- What will we do to close the gap between current and future talent needs?
- How can can we instill in our employees that ‘professional development’ activities are an integral part of their overall performance?
- How can we maintain professional development as a value even during lean times?
I would love to learn how you and your organization are answering these important questions! Contact me and let me know!