The Professional

Development Buffet

The Professional Development Buffet Traditional professional development and continuing education methods typically require employees to take the same courses, even if they aren’t always relevant for every employee. That’s not only a waste of your employees’ time; it’s also a huge waste of money.

New online platforms not only make it possible for employees to take the right courses for them, they make it easier than ever before.  How? By offering a wide variety of courses and the ability for employers to create custom curriculum for each employee. Essentially these new platforms are offering a proverbial buffet of professional development.

Why do you need variety?

Each of your employees has a unique background and set of skills, even if they hold the same position in your company. For example, your accounting department may be led by several employees with accounting degrees but most of the staff under them have completely unrelated degrees.  The employee with an English degree would benefit from courses covering broad accounting topics like how to use Excel efficiently and basic bookkeeping 101. Her co-worker that has a finance degree would likely find those courses unnecessary, and would benefit from more detailed topics about depreciation or Sarbanes-Oxley.

Forcing those two employees to take the same professional development classes wouldn’t benefit either of them. Either one would be bored and the other would learn, or the one would learn and the other would be completely lost. Either way, resources are going to waste. A more effective method would be allowing each employee to take the course that is right for him or her.

How do you choose?

Of course, not all employees understand their skill level. That’s why some may need help choosing what to take from the professional development buffet. Some professional development platforms have solved this problem by offering companies the ability to create curricula for their employees to follow. A designated person, typically a manager or someone in human resources, chooses what courses each employee needs to take. That can be determined by a skills assessment or simply dictated by the position in question.  However you decide to do it, employees need their own development plan to succeed.

Keep in mind that your company doesn’t have to use an online platform exclusively. The professional development buffet means you can pick and choose what works best for your company and your employees. You can mix online courses with real life training to find the best results for everyone.