Basic Employee Needs Must Be Met Before Learning Can Happen
No matter what kind of professional development program you decide to build, it’s imperative to first make sure that your compensation plan is set up in a way that supports your employees basic needs first.
First, check to see that your base comp plan is equitable and competitive. The perception of fairness is critical to employee engagement. If your employees think that they aren’t paid adequately or fairly they won’t be eager to learn or improve their performance. Before you implement additional professional development programs, determine if it’s your compensation plan that needs immediate attention.
Next, think through how your comp plan could incentivize development. Are you making pay increase decisions for employees based on their acquisition of new skills? Or do your job descriptions and comp plans emphasize years of experience and seniority only? If that is the case, you may need to consider how you should consider paying for skills and competencies instead of tenure.
Once you get compensation right, you can add on the most impactful professional development plans. Ultimately, professional development programs should ladder up to your organizational goals and individual needs. Present well defined goals and benefits when you are pitching your professional development program to senior leadership. Ensuring this alignment will ease leadership buy in and allow you to prove ROI.
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