Access to industry experts and the chance to learn from them is a top priority among job seekers, especially tech candidates. The fast-paced evolution of the tech industry makes continual professional development a necessity, and working alongside experts in the field organically integrates regular learning opportunities into the role.
Mentorship can take place within the office where managers and leaders mentor individual contributors, or companies can consider implementing a mentorship program that spans outside the department or even the office. In fact, 67% of employees say their mentor is not the same person as their manager. Seek out individuals who are naturally great mentors and want to foster meaningful relationships. Don’t forget to reward them for their time and help.
Professional development shouldn’t be limited to an employee’s current field. Give your team members a chance to learn from one another by creating a shadowing program that empowers employees to observe the role of a colleague for a day, a week or even months at a time. This promotes cross-departmental collaboration, improves how teams work together and fosters employee relationships.
A shadowing program is exceptionally helpful for when an employee becomes disengaged with their work. Making it easy to explore other career paths within your organization shows you value your people as individuals, not just employees, and increases the likelihood of retaining a great employee who just needs a new passion.
Promote knowledge transfer by planning lunch-and-learns where individuals can share information about their line of work, new developments in their field and how their work impacts other teams. You could also use the time as an opportunity to encourage dialogue on important workplace topics like creating inclusive team environments, moderated by an employee with expertise in this area.
If a new skill can’t be acquired in-house, it’s to your benefit as an employer to offer professional development opportunities outside of the office. Training seminars and certifications are widely offered and cover topics ranging from public speaking to coding languages.
Consider allocating part of your annual budget to offer professional development stipends to employees. Not only is this an attractive benefit that will catch the eye of top talent, a continued learning stipend will also engage employees and help them gain knowledge that can propel your company further. Doing so will ensure your most skilled employees don’t burnout or feel like they’ve plateaued in their career. Encourage employees to use these stipends for learning opportunities like courses, certifications, professional memberships and conferences.
Rotational programs allow employees to work on various projects across departments for several weeks to a few months at a time. It is especially beneficial to new hires as they become acquainted with your company. The program helps new hires understand the different facets of your business and get to know their colleagues.