The key to retaining good staff is to make sure that you advance and encourage their professional development and training. If your employees can see advancement in their employment with you, they are likely to have high job satisfaction and increased productivity and quality

You can outsource training or develop your staff internally. You should make an individual plan for each staff member in consultation with them.

Make a plan

As an employer, remember that professional development is to benefit your staff. It is different from business training.

Business training

Staff training helps you improve your business functions. Your staff will learn key skills in areas, which can include:

  • finance
  • sales
  • marketing
  • administration
  • staff management

When you identify a business requirement that you need to train your staff to do, consider dedicated training sessions that you conduct or hire a professional to conduct.

When you start to make a professional development plan with your employee, take some time to understand the skills that your employee wants to learn, or the knowledge they want to gain

After you have identified the skills your employee wants to learn, you both should consider how to develop that skill. This can include:

  • mentoring
  • internal development
  • external courses

Remember: your employees will not be with you forever. If you can get them to a point where they can advance their careers, you have done a successful job.


Mentoring can be an effective way to develop your skills and your employees' skills at little or no cost.

This type of development can include:

  • mentoring
  • coaching
  • job shadowing

You can encourage informal mentoring between two co-workers with different levels of experience. It's a great way to support productive relationships in the workplace and to support one employee’s skill and knowledge development, while you also develop another employee's teaching skills.

If your team does not have the expertise to help advance your employees, consider helping your employee find an external mentor. A mentor who is not connected to the business can provide your employee with new perspectives and guidance.

External training and courses

You can send staff to external training and courses, or you can get an external provider to present training at your business. These opportunities allow for very specific learning outcomes.

Before you can offer external training and courses to your staff or consider including them in an employee’s professional development plan.

Skills, funding and programs

You and your employees may be eligible for a range of funding and assistance programs that support skills and training.

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