Without question, professional development is incredibly important for the success of employees and organizations. A recent survey shows that 70% of respondents have been positively influenced by development opportunities when deciding whether to stay at their jobs. From a lower employee turnover rate to a higher profit margin, it’s clear that professional development is a worthwhile investment. Here are four creative ways to get team members excited about setting goals and motivated to stick to them—with a little help from professional development gifts.
Kick off goal-setting with encouraging swag bags
Get your team excited for professional development by engaging them in a goal-setting session complete with swag bags to set them up for success. Goals are the foundation of professional development and can be used to establish milestones and track progress. Work with team members to set SMART goals—goals that are specific, measurable, assignable, relevant and timely. During goal-setting sessions, surprise employees with professional development products to help them along the way. Include a monthly planner to help team members stay on top of timelines. Or give them a special leather journal to help them track their progress.
Encourage employees to attend conferences
Attending industry conferences is a sure way for employees to learn best practices that they can apply to their own positions. Whether in-person or online, conferences can boost knowledge and help employees reach their goals by providing the tools they need for success. Although exhilarating, learning can be exhausting. Make sure employees are equipped with a pen and a travel mug full of coffee so they’re prepped to absorb all the valuable information that will be shared throughout the day.
Organize monthly knowledge-sharing meetings
Once your team sets goals and begins their quest for knowledge, it’s time to share. Invite one employee each month to train the rest of the team on valuable information they’ve discovered through their professional development. Instead of a regular email invite, get creative and invite people to these sessions with a professional development product, like a water bottle or tumbler, that contains an invite imprinted with the date and time. Include some helpful handouts as well. Your employees will love the gesture and feel appreciated for all of their hard work.
Celebrate hitting professional development goals
Professional development, although invigorating, can be a long and draining process. When goals are met, associates should be rewarded. After a team member achieves their professional development goal—and before they start mapping out how they’ll reach their next one—pause to celebrate. Present them with praise and a professional development gift to recognize their achievements. Branded fleece jackets or business backpacks are two gifts sure to make team members feel appreciated and accomplished for putting in all that hard work.
Professional development not only benefits team members, it benefits your organization. While you plan the team’s learning path, remember to include moments for praise and meaningful professional development gifts that will keep your employees feeling motivated.