Why Professional Development?

By: Ricki Sexton

 Oftentimes, when you mention a professional development budget or taking a seminar in conversation, people may look twice at you as if you are speaking a foreign language.  What?  Why would you do professional development?  That’s extra work isn’t it?

So, what is professional development, specifically?   Any programs that allows your staff to improve their skills and knowledge both personally and professionally.  There are many avenues to choose from, on-site, on-line, webinars and conferences .124

Over my last several years working in association management, I have had opportunities to improve my skills, but I have focused on primarily accounting knowledge, including Quickbooks.  Over my last two years here at Partners in Association Management, I have utilized my professional development hours and my yearly budget to improve myself in other areas.  I have taken an Access class to improve my software skills as well as a Fundamentals of Supervision and Management course through the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.  I have obtained my Qualified Association Specialist certification, as well as attending the FSAE’s education day this year, and used my membership dues to further learn with on-demand webinars/etc.

I am now getting further involved with FSAE by volunteering for a task force in 2017, which I am very excited about!  Each of these experiences has been beneficial to myself as well as our company.

So, what are some of the main perks of offering a professional development budget to your staff?  Robert Half Finance and Accounting’s blog (Article) lists the following 6 reasons:

  1. Increase the collective knowledge of your team.132
  2. Boost employee’s job satisfaction.
  3. Make your company more appealing.
  4. Attract in-demand candidates.
  5. Beef up your retention strategy.
  6. Make succession planning easier.

There are so many benefits to be realized for both your company/association and your employees by offering a professional development budget, for each team member based on job role and professional development goals.  What are some of the main benefits your company may have realized by offering professional development opportunities to your team members?


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