Article written by Stacey Derrig, Southern Oregon University Assistant Director, Adult Education and Janet Hartmann, Southern Oregon University Professional Development and Test Center Coordinator
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Showing employees they are valued and respected will have incredible results for both employers and employees. Making learning and personal growth a priority for employees will always make businesses and organizations thrive and maintain a high employee rentention rate.  The cost of training employees versus turnover costs can make a big difference in the bottom line and employee motivation.  As Natasha Bowman, a member of Forbes Coaches Council, states in an article for Forbes, “The potential loss of dollars invested in employee development pales in comparison to the certain productivity loss inflicted by a mediocre workforce.”  Professional development is the process of improving and increasing capabilities of staff through access to education and training opportunities.  With the fast pace of today’s world, it is even more important for everyone to gain and improve skills pertinent to their position and job performance.
Here is an example of a real life story where professional development made a real difference in the beginning career for a young MBA graduate.  Susie had completed her master’s degree and obtained a job at the headquarters of a large banking firm.  She struggled at in the beginning due to a lack of direction.  During upper management meetings, several managers complained about Susie’s work.  A top executive asked the managers if anyone had properly trained Susie.  The answer was a resounding no.  The manager’s realized that without proper training and development, their employees are not going to perform at a high level in the organization.  Once Susie received training and professional development, she excelled at her job and felt valued as an employee.  Within a couple years, Susie was promoted to a vice president position in the company.  With professional development in place, Susie’s natural leadership abilities were enriched. Wow, what a difference professional development can make! Zig Zigler once said, “The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is not training them and keeping them.”  
The Value of Professional Development
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