Regardless of how experienced an employee is when they start at your practice, there is always room for improvement. An effective way to provide value for your staff while promoting business performance is to offer professional development opportunties.
Professional development refers to employee training and continuing eduaction after they have entered the workforce to learn and improve skills, stay up to date on relevant job and industry regulations and trends, and ultimately accelerate their careers. But it is more than simply brushing up on job-related abilities; it also strengthens skills your staff members can apply to their life outside of work.
Key to successful professional development is the investment of time and effort on the part of the employee. There must be a level of self-motivation for them to own their own growth and use the tools they have learned moving forward.
Investing in your staff's advancement provides career benefits for them but is also advantageous for you and your practice. Here's why.
If and when you move on from your practice, you want it to be left in good hands. Promoting internally rather than hiring outside spares the inherent knowledge gaps and therefore saves you time and money. Investing in your staff's professional development helps train them to become future leaders within your business, strengthening the skils you found most relevant and important.
You also create promotional paths for employees and contribute to their individual career growth, making them feel like they are moving forward without a role or title change. This is especially important for practices with smaller teams and no clear hierarchy.
Change - especially in the healthcare space - is constant, and to compete you must get ahead, or at least stay abreast, of the latest updates within the industry. Armed with new knowledge and value to bring to the practice, employees will ideally also have a renewed sense of confidence. This boost in morale along with a stronger skillset will translate into their interactions with your practice's patients, not to mention build credibility for referrals to bring in more patients.
Professional development courses invigorate your employees and allow them to take new methodologies and techniques back to the practice. Feeling more self-assured and motivated, employees may find more efficient ways to acquire patients, improve patient loyalty, schedule appointments and accomplish other daily tasks.
Finally, the empowerment for employees to take ownership over their development translates to ownership of other elements in the business, like the key performance indicators (KPIs) you use to track your practice's success. And satisfied employees who have a sense of ownership and feel valued by their employer are more likely to stick around. A report from LinkedIn found that 93% of employees will stay with their current employer longer if it invests in their development.
Why is retention important? According to Glassdoor, it costs approximately $4,000 and takes an average of 52 days to hire a new employee.
What are some ways you can contribute to your team's professional development? The following are the most common examples:
Look out for learning opportunities that cover competencies like interpersonal communication, problem solving, handling and giving feedback, and leadership. Observe your team members and talk to them one on one to get an idea of where you can best contribute to their personal and professional growth.