5 Professional Development Strategies to Advance Your Employees

5 Professional Development Strategies to Advance Your Employees

Professional development refers to the skills, credentials, and education your employees need to succeed in their careers and achieve their professional goals. Professional development strategies are also helpful for business development since growing your employees means your business grows, too, thereby creating a strong company culture.

Knowing how to create professional development strategies for your employees can help your employees’ careers and your company. Encourage your employees to create professional development strategies that can function as tools for their roles as team members. Developmental strategies involve assessing how their work fits company goals and culture.

Employees must align their strategies with company needs and culture when assessing professional development strategies.

On this page:

Recommended Strategies

1.     Continued Education

Your employees’ knowledge of the industry is crucial to their professional development. Keeping current with industry trends and best practices makes employees valuable assets, team members, leaders, and mentors. Help them with their continued education by:

  • Offering books, magazines, and websites related to their field.
  • Investing in seminars, online education, and other continuing education initiatives. 
  • Considering the often-rapid pace of new technologies your employees may have to learn and conduct training accordingly.
  • Encouraging employees to take classes, attend conferences, and learn from mentors and colleagues can help them develop professional development strategies.

The goal is to master their industry and become subject matter experts (SMEs) in their fields. They should learn as much as possible about their industry so they can be a mentor when someone has a question or a problem to solve. Building a learning culture and coaching junior staff will help your retention efforts.

2.     Working Smarter

Train your employees to work smarter, not harder. That means discouraging procrastination, training them on time-saving technologies, and encouraging them to fit career growth strategies into their schedules.

3.     Documenting Their Success

Document your employees’ successes. In acknowledging your employees’ accomplishments, you have powerful examples and reminders of their skills, education, and career determination. Use this positive feedback to encourage employees to pursue their careers with focused goals and milestones.

4.     Communication Skills Improvement

Communication skills are essential in any endeavor, so it makes sense for them to be a focus in professional development. Without communication skills, your employees can’t network, communicate your company ideas to colleagues, or ask for mentoring help. Helping and encouraging your employees to communicate well can help you reach your company’s goals.

5.     Managing Stress

Managing stress is an essential part of self-care. If you or your employees don’t have time to address health issues, the focus may be lost during the workday and goals may be missed. Provide opportunities for you and your employees to take care of themselves, so your company can grow.

Examples of Professional Development Strategies

To professionally develop your team, you must set professional development strategy goals. Think proactively about how your company needs to grow. Assess how your employees’ skills, personal goals, and education fit with company goals and their development strategies. Some examples of professional development strategies are:

Track Employee Progress

Breaking large goals into smaller tasks, then rewarding those small wins is an excellent strategy for improvement. For example, if employees have a big project, set well-defined timelines for employees. Setting small goals throughout a bigger project motivates your employees to take their work to the next level and stay calm.


A mentor at work can help your employees understand their career path at your company. Even beyond their work at your company, a mentor can help them better understand their industry. In understanding their industry, they can refine their goals with the company.

Good, competent mentors are necessary because they can introduce your employees to their networks and colleagues to help them with your company’s professional development strategies.

Align Your Professional Development Strategies with Values

Aligning your professional development strategies with your company’s beliefs means aligning company goals with its highest values and creating a solid corporate culture. Make sure your strategies are taking you where you want to go.


Your employees’ network is the connection your company needs to grow your business. Industry events, virtual meetings, and professional networks like LinkedIn can fit well with your professional development strategies. Growing employee networks is essential to marketing your brand and recruiting top talent. Networking helps your employees develop their skills and experience to benefit your business.

More Responsibility

As part of your professional development strategies, you should encourage your employees to pursue more responsibilities, take initiative, and assume leadership roles in their teams. However, don’t overwhelm your employees. Focus on one new responsibility, initiative, or position at a time.

Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are critical to understanding how employees are doing as team members. Use performance reviews to encourage your employees to work smarter, highlight their strengths, and underscore areas for improvement.

Why Does Someone Need Professional Development?

Professional development strategies have three purposes. The first enables employees to develop knowledge, skills, and experience for their daily responsibilities. Secondly, employees can use these development strategies to show their employer that they have updated their knowledge, skills, and experience. Thirdly, the professional development strategy gives their employer information about their professional competence. Professional development is necessary for companies and employees to grow and thrive. Making professional development strategies part of your company goals is essential to the success of your business. Make a resolution to start developing professional strategies today.

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About the Author

Erin Aldridge, PMP, PMI-ACP, & CSPO

Director of Product Development at Project Management Academy

Detail-oriented business professional with fifteen years experience in the customer service, project management and finance industry. Dedicated to helping make a positive impact at the organizations with which I partner.

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