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Affordable Professional Development

Professional development on a budget

There are several approaches you can take in providing staff with professional development opportunities and support for skill-building. Some can have a modest cost but a big impact.

Some organizations allocate certain amount of funds to each employee. If you are able to do this make it clear that staff members should get approval from their supervisor for the training they want to attend. This helps ensure that the supervisor and the staff member are having a conversation about the employee's growth and development.

The organization can also budget globally or on the based of the departments or functions within the organization. If there is a global budget keep tack of who is getting access to the total budget.

Some of the best ways to support professional development of staff do not require budget allocation at all. Here are some of those high impact but low cost approaches:

  • Have a staff member assist on project that is outside of their usual work
  • Allow staff to shadow another employee
  • Set up mentoring relationships for staff with people who are outside of their usual work role.
  • Trade staff for shadowing with another organization
  • Ask a business person who has skills your employee would like to develop to let your staff member intern in the organization or job-shadow.
  • Ask a colleague to do an informational interview with your employee to help them decide on their career direction.
  • Take employees with you to meetings or gatherings where they will be exposed to new issues, meet senior leaders etc.