Why Curley & Pynn Invests in Professional Development

Professional Development

October 9, 2023

By Elisa White

The Great Resignation may be over, but employee recruitment and retention remain hot topics in 2023. Among the ways organizations can avoid the cost of turnover and keep customers satisfied, investing in employees’ professional development is one of the most important.

Although some may consider professional development to be an individual endeavor reserved for junior employees, most industry leaders know it’s a team sport for employees at every level.

At Curley & Pynn, professional development is in our DNA. In fact, our firm was created by two public relations practitioners who connected at a meeting of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA), where they were seeking professional growth opportunities (read our full history here). Ever since, the firm has remained steadfast in its commitment to professional development, investing in association memberships for the team, hosting lunch and learns, assigning mentors and more.

We have witnessed firsthand how this investment pays off, resulting in the growth of individual team members who in turn have strengthened the entire team.

Ultimately, professional development promotes employee retention, improves work quality and builds a stronger business, making it an essential investment for companies driven to succeed.

Professional development promotes employee engagement and retention.

In 2021, the United States experienced the “Great Resignation,” in which the workforce’s “quit rate” reached a 20-year high as employee priorities shifted. Of the millions of Americans who left jobs in 2021, over 60% said that no opportunities for advancement were a major consideration in their decision based on a PEW Research study.

Though turnover rates are beginning to stabilize, employers should remain vigilant about retaining valuable employees. Those who have been with a company longer are more likely to embrace your organization’s values and produce strategic work. Additionally, training new hires is costly – one study suggests the total cost of filling a position can be three to four times the new employee’s salary.

Professional development unlocks pathways to advancement and satisfaction, which results in greater employee retention and a stronger company culture. Companies that provide outlets for mentorship, deliberate goal setting, leadership opportunities and personal growth produce motivated employees that consistently go above and beyond company standards. According to this recent Gallup study, this engagement can lead to a 23% difference in profitability.

Professional development improves team work quality and outcomes.

Although experience remains the best teacher, professional development can accelerate individual growth. Many forms of professional development directly impact job performance, leading to better outcomes for the company and its customers.

For example, membership in FPRA affords me the opportunity to attend educational meetings and webinars each month where I gain new industry insight and learn about the latest industry trends. These meetings help deepen my understanding of the field, broaden my professional network and help me identify ways to be more productive or bring more value to our clients.

Ongoing professional development in the workplace has a similar effect. Employees who regularly meet with mentors are more aware of their strengths and weaknesses, leading to continuous improvement and achievement for both the mentor and the mentee. As we individually move forward to become engaged, motivated employees, the company and the communities we serve progress with us.

Internal lunch and learns or similar training initiatives may also help team members work smarter and more efficiently, leading to additional time that might be spent innovating new products and services, or providing enhanced client service. A well-trained workforce is more adaptable and capable of problem-solving. As employees flourish, they become invaluable assets, driving heightened client satisfaction and loyalty. Consequently, this translates to a substantial competitive edge and increased output across the entire company.

Investing in your people is investing in your business.

There’s a quote from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” where the protagonist, Leslie Knope, states, “They say you’re only as good as your last idea. I say you’re only as good as the people you work with.”

In our ever-changing industry, there will constantly be new ideas on how to build customer loyalty, increase engagement and strategically support clients. What matters to a company’s success is having the right people. Professional development gives employees the tools they need to embrace new insights, commit to client success and tackle complex challenges head on. By investing in professional development, companies invest in their people and their businesses.

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