7 Ideas for Employee Professional Development in 2022

Feb 3

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Employees face a wide range of professional challenges that can make focusing at work difficult, but it shouldn’t be up to your employees to tackle those challenges on their own.

The findings from a recent 2021 Thriver study revealed that 39% of HRs and People Operation professionals feel that employee engagement is a huge challenge. It can affect everything from productivity to their attitude and well-being both inside and outside the office, affecting the company culture and your bottom line. It’s important to find ways to keep everyone as involved and engaged as possible, for their happiness and the success of the company.

Managing employee development is one of the best ways to support employee engagement! Not only can it make employees better at their jobs, but it also supports your employees, their personal careers, and even their well-being, so professional development is something they want from their employer too.

Here are seven of our favorite professional development ideas to support your employees in the workplace in 2022.

1. Problem Solving Skills

Long gone are the days when employees could show up to work and do the same exact tasks every day until they retire. The world moves fast in the 21st century. The technology, marketing strategies, and products that worked yesterday may not work today. That’s why hiring a creative workforce that treats change as a challenge instead of an obstacle is vital to the success of any business.

Facing challenges with a creative mindset doesn’t always come naturally, but it is a skill you can teach, which makes it one of our favorite training opportunities for employees. 

A creative thinking and problem solving workshop can help everyone tap into their creativity and learn how to support a group throughout the creative process. Practicing real-world examples can show everyone that they really can harness their own creative abilities to solve problems, even if they never thought they were creative before.

Keep those creative juices flowing by encouraging out-of-the-box ideas in the office long after the training session is over. Always welcome everyone’s ideas, even if the person sharing thinks the idea is bad, and refrain from judging anyone’s ideas so they are encouraged to share them freely again in the future.

2. Mastering Change in the Workplace

The idea of mastering change in the workplace is related to boosting problem solving skills in the section above in that it addresses the challenge of change at work. However, these two trainings go about addressing change in different ways.

While a problem solving workshop helps attendees with new skills that enable them to tap into their creativity, a mastering change in the workplace workshop is about tackling change personally. It focuses on skills that enable workshop attendees to see change less as a threat and more as an opportunity. This type of training can have a huge impact on mental health, making it a great personal growth opportunity for employees.

This kind of workshop helps employees tease apart change and how it makes them feel, as well as supporting everyone as they create an individualized plan on how to tackle negative feelings when they arise.

Having this kind of workshop opens the door to talk about how the company and management can help make change less intimidating too. For example, if employees feel stressed because the grace period for learning a new platform or skill is short, you may want to discuss elongating the training period so that everyone has a chance to master their new skills without fear.

3. Presentation Skills Development 

Investing in presentation skills among your employees can ultimately boost your business’s bottom line, but if you ask your employees what kind of training they would like to see, you might be surprised to learn that presentation skills tops the list of professional development topics for your employees too.

An employee presenting to the team in the office meeting room

Many employees feel anxious when it comes to giving presentations. Not only can standing in front of a group to give a presentation be scary, it’s fairly common for employees to think they aren’t effective speakers, which can cause them to feel anxious after the presentation is over.

You can support your employees’ professional development by signing up your team for a presentation skills class. They will learn how to capture an audience’s attention right away, build a story, engage their audience, and inspire their audience to take action.

After the class, not only will your employees feel more confident ahead of any future presentations, but they will feel a greater sense of achievement when their presentation is complete.

4. Building Mindset

One of the best ways to promote professional development in the workplace is to support your employees’ mental health, especially in a post-COVID world where employees are getting burntout faster than ever before.

It starts with mindset. It can affect everything from personal happiness and well-being to career success and company culture, but exactly how do you teach someone how to adjust their mindset?

A mindset workshop is a great growth idea for employees because it focuses on specific skills, like how to take initiative, problem solve, handle pressure, and feel positive about the pursuit of their goals. The development of these kinds of skills can reset everyone’s mindset so everyone on the team approaches everyday challenges with more positivity.

5. Teamwork Training

Working on a team can boost creative thinking as everyone bounces ideas off of each other. It can make employees feel supported both professionally and personally, and it can help the company reach its goals more effectively.

Unfortunately, working on a team doesn’t guarantee these kinds of results. The quality of the relationships between the people on the team is vital, especially if you want the team to act as a crucible to promote professional development.

No matter how big or small your team, chances are, everyone could benefit from a teamwork training session. It can break down existing cliques and boost trust between all members of the team, but it can also provide team members with strategies to work together more efficiently.

On-site and virtual teamwork training can be effective, but some of the best professional development activities for employees are the ones that take everyone out of their comfort zone.

A few more ideas include:

  • Play a game
  • Host a lunch and learn
  • Have a show and tell
  • Complete an escape-the-room challenge
  • Take a class together
  • Do a trivia night together
  • Volunteer together
  • Tackle an obstacle course

6. Dealing With Imposter Syndrome

Most of us suffer from imposter syndrome every now and then. The trouble is, once the seed of doubt has been sewn, many people start feeling inadequate regularly, which can lead to overachieving and burnout. It can also lead to the complete opposite, which means giving up completely. Neither are good for business, and neither are good for your employees’ mental health.

Employee sitting in front of the laptop feeling tired

You can help your employees understand what imposter syndrome is, recognize the different types, and learn powerful strategies to overcome feelings of inadequacy with the Ditching Imposter Syndrome workshop.

An imposter syndrome workshop is one of our favorite employee growth and development ideas because just having the workshop can be enough to help employees combat feelings of incompetence. It opens the door for employees to talk about their feelings, their fears, and their goals, which can itself help everyone feel a little more confident and self-assured when they show up to work.

7. Professional Certifications

Employees like working for companies that offer tuition reimbursement, but many employees are looking for professional certifications instead of going back to college to get a degree. With many leading companies taking the plunge and accepting certificates in lieu of college degrees, many employees appreciate the ability to receive professional certificates at their workplace. Certificates cost less, but they also take less time to obtain, making them a win-win for employers and employees.

Offer a range of employee development opportunities that include certification options and make sure everyone knows they exist! Send out newsletters or mention new certification options in weekly meetings as they come available so employees know that getting a professional certification is one of the many professional development ideas that are available to them.

If you want your employees to stick around, if you want them to be happier, and if you want them to contribute to a positive work culture, provide them with professional development opportunities! Choose from the ideas on this list and not only will the company reap the rewards of an engaged workforce, your employees will feel valued, which will increase their overall happiness and well-being.

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