April 13, 2023

The Importance of Professional Development in Retaining Top Talent

Professional development is crucial for employees and employers. It enhances their skills and knowledge and increases their value in the job market. As we move into 2023, professional development continues to be critical for success.

Vitalief is an expert in sourcing and retaining top talent for organizations in the clinical research industry. This article will cover everything organizations need to know about retaining talent with professional development programs.

Why Invest in Professional Development Programs?

Several reasons make professional development particularly important in 2023.

Staying Competitive With Technological Advancements

Technological change is accelerating, leading to significant changes in different roles across industries.

Automation and artificial intelligence are becoming more prevalent in the workplace. Employees and organizations must reskill or upskill with professional development to stay competitive.

Remote work and digital transformation are increasing the demand for strong digital skills. Learning and development in this area can help individuals remain competitive in the job market.

Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

Providing new and compelling opportunities can attract and retain top talent. It shows commitment to helping employees grow and advance in their careers.

Job candidates in today’s workforce often rate learning and development as their top priorities when interviewing for a position. They don’t stop being priorities once a candidate joins a company.  

Professional Development Tools

There are many tools that employers can use to support employees’ professional development. Let’s dive into ways your organization can provide resources to those interested in furthering their education.

Professional Development Plan

A professional development plan (PDP) is a document that outlines an individual’s goals and objectives for professional growth and development. The plan may include goals, objectives, action steps, resources, timelines, and an evaluation plan to measure progress.

A PDP can be a valuable tool for individuals to identify areas for improvement, set specific and measurable goals, and plan the steps needed to achieve those goals. 

Training Programs

A well-planned training program can be an asset to an organization. They provide individuals with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to succeed in their careers. Training can also help individuals acquire new skills, stay current and competitive in their fields, enhance existing skills, and expand career opportunities.

Training programs may occur in various settings with various resources, including:

  • In a classroom
  • Via online courses
  • Lunch-and-learn programs
  • Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Workshops
  • Industry conferences
  • Podcasts
  • E-books

A professional development workshop can be a shorter and more focused form of training, a helpful mechanism for individuals to gain advanced knowledge in a specific area.

Industry conferences offer broader topics but are typically less detailed than a workshop. However, they are frequently co-located with pre- or post-conference workshops to support different learning goals. 

Continuing Education Credits (CECs)

Continuing Education Credits (CECs) are units used to measure professional development and continuing education programs. Professionals in various industries, such as nursing, must accumulate a certain number of CEC units to maintain their certifications or licenses.

CEC units must demonstrate that an individual is current with training in their field or specialty. The number of credits required will vary based on the role. Some fields have more extensive requirements than others.

For example, the requirements for CECs for nurses can vary depending on the state or country where the nurse is licensed and the specific nursing specialty. In general, nurses are required to accumulate a certain number of CECs over a particular period to support the renewal of their licenses. 

Mentoring Programs

Mentorship programs allow individuals to learn from more experienced professionals and receive guidance as they develop their careers. The mentor and mentee should be carefully matched based on their interests, goals, experience, and needs to ensure a productive and beneficial relationship.

Mentoring programs are enormously attractive to job candidates in the current job market. These programs can be extremely valuable to employees early in their careers or those seeking a career change.

The right mentor can offer perspective and practical guidance while helping the employee prepare for their next job, network, and understand how their strengths and skills can align with their career goals. The focused relationship can expose employees to new opportunities and vast institutional knowledge while offering a trusted and private sounding board.

Mentors also gain benefits from these relationships. The interactions often spur innovative discussions that motivate mentors to take a fresh look at the organization and the art of the possible. Mentoring an engaged employee can also lead to great personal and professional satisfaction.   

Coaching Programs

Coaching can involve working with a professional coach to set goals and develop strategies for achieving those goals. Coaching can be focused on specific areas, such as career advancement or personal development.

Coaching and mentor programs are similar in that they involve working with an experienced individual to support professional development and growth. However, coaching is typically more structured, while mentoring is more relationship-based.

Professional Development Resources

There are numerous professional development resources available. Useful materials include books, articles, and online courses to augment an individual’s development efforts. As online resources expand at unprecedented rates, employees can find helpful materials on social channels and course aggregator sites. Some academic institutions are even offering free online courses on a wide variety of topics. 

Retain Top Talent With Professional Development

The direct link between professional development and retaining top talent is evident. Companies that invest significant time, effort, and resources into their people can expect to retain top talent. 

For assistance with sourcing top talent in the New Jersey area in the clinical research industry, contact the recruiting experts at Vitalief today.