I remember at my last job every time I requested professional development and was denied – which was every time I requested professional development. The usual reasons given were “lack of business value” and that the requested training did not contribute to the performance of my current duties.
How about this for business value: employee retention.
Professional development is not supposed to help you with your current role. I can already perform my current role.
There is an old joke about professional development. One boss asks, “What if we train our employees and they leave?” The other asks, “What if we don’t train them and they stay?”
It also put me into a cruel cycle. My management said I was not qualified for promotion. Yet they would not provide the opportunities to increase my skills. What do you do in such a situation?
I looked at my finances and realized I could take many, many months off from work without any negative repercussions to my long-term plans. If my employer would not support my professional development, then I would do it myself.
In just over four months since leaving my employer, I:
· wrote three books in my field.
· acquired three professional certifications.
· developed and delivered two presentations at technical conferences.
To prepare for one of the professional certifications, I purchased a professional membership, study materials, and the certification test itself. Total cost: under a thousand dollars. That’s much less than the cost to the company of hiring my replacement and the loss of productivity until my replacement started.
Invest in your employees. If you don’t, they will invest in themselves and take their skills to another employer.