How to Promote Professional Development for Your Team
As a law firm owner, you saw a problem and decided to try and solve it by starting your business.
When you did this, you had to work hard. You had to put a lot of effort into professional development just to get your firm up and running. In this way, professional development comes naturally to many entrepreneurs.
The problem is, this makes the professional development of your team a challenge. You expect your team to work on it independently but many of them won’t. Not everyone wants to start their own business or has the perspective of an entrepreneur. It is your responsibility to make sure they are developing professionally.
If this feels overwhelming or confusing, this blog is for you. We’re going to discuss why the professional development of your team is so important and practical strategies for promoting it.
The Benefits of Professional Development in Your Team
Giving your team members the opportunity to develop professionally is a smart business decision on your part. When you’re trying to build a business and make it successful, it would behoove you and increase your chances of success if your team members had more advanced skills. Maybe you don’t owe it to them but it’s something that will boost the growth of your firm.
Additionally, many business owners fear that, if they provide their employees with educational opportunities, they’ll leave. However, reports have shown that professional development is the number one way to improve company culture. The consequences of neglecting professional development are significant, as well. 86% of professionals said they would change jobs if a new company offered them more opportunities for professional development.
Additionally, organizations with a strong learning culture are 92% more likely to develop better products and processes, 52% more productive, 56% more likely to be the first to market products and services, and 17% more profitable than their peers. As you can see, professional development makes your employees more likely to stay.
How to Foster Professional Development
It is your responsibility to foster and maybe even pay for the professional development of your team. Don’t dictate it, though; professional development should be a benefit and additive to your culture, not a chore.
One way to do this is by creating clear expectations for every role in your company. Make sure that everyone knows what success looks like. From there, work with your team members to figure out what they need to learn to help them succeed in their roles.
Some skills you can provide training in are soft skills such as phone and email etiquette. Others are hard skills such as Clio administrator training or scanner and document management use.
Once you have this page with role expectations and the skills required to meet those expectations, share it with your team. You could share it during interviews so people know what’s expected of them before they say yes to the job. You can also share it with current team members during your one-on-one meetings.
During these meetings, ask for feedback on the expectations and skills you wrote down. Then, have them rank their skills from strongest to weakest. From there, let them know that you’re going to support them in picking any of those skills to improve so that they can get better and grow in their role. Additionally, let them know that you’ll financially support the cost of some of their training.
If you want to learn more about fostering the professional development of your team, check out Episode 075: Professional Development of Your Team – Whose Responsibility Is It?