How to Champion Your Team's Professional Development

by Diana Lam, 3 minutes read
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Many healthcare professionals want to work for a practice that will help them advance their professional growth. They even see a longer future with employers who care about their career path. But did you know that 15% of healthcare workers said they lack opportunities to increase their expertise? 

Leading medical practices understand that their employers are the heart of their companies. They know that investing in their employees’ professional development is worthwhile. And they recognize that they can leave workers feeling undervalued if they don’t – which can impact morale and retention.

Where does your practice stand when it comes to supporting your team’s professional growth? Do you want to support your staff’s career aspirations but don’t know where to start? Read on to learn best practices on how to champion your team’s career advancement.

Have open discussions 

The best place to start is to meet and communicate with your staff on a regular basis. Have discussions to get a better understanding of what your team’s career expectations are. What skills do they want to learn? Where do they see themselves next in their career?

Next, set milestones for your team to follow so they can achieve their goals. What steps should they take to get to where they want to be in the short-term and long-term? Offer support resources like hiring an external career coach to help your team stay on track. You can also offer onsite mentoring programs where staff can get hands-on experience on specific skillsets they want to learn. 

You’ll also want to understand how your team feels about their schedules. Is there enough flexibility with their shifts to accommodate time to study? Practice managers can offer a mobile app to help their team tailor their work schedules around classes. 

Offer upskilling opportunities

Has your practice considered providing opportunities to upskill your staff? This is where you allow your staff to learn new skills through extra training. Your team can take courses, online classes, self-study, or certificate programs. 

For example, your team might want to take courses to learn more about the latest technology in medicine or emerging health issues. They might want to study the latest pharmaceutical trends or get new medical training in different areas.  

Cloud-based learning systems are great options for healthcare staff to pursue advanced learning. Softwares like Litmos or SkyPrep offer flexible times to take healthcare-focused courses. Your team can choose when and where they want to take the course — whether it’s before or after work. 

There might be nurses on your team who also want to pursue higher learning with online DNP programs. These programs can help them explore new career paths and earn certificates.

Provide learning stipends 

Another way practice managers can help their staff learn and grow is to provide stipends for different learning events. After all, many health professionals want to attend conferences, classes, webinars, and events.

Take some inspiration from Vince Rukstali, owner of Papillion Animal Hospital, who shares “to help make our staff feel supported [in career progression], we send our nurses for out of state continuing ED. They get to go to large conferences and participate in web labs and learn new skills.”

If there are budget constraints, consider alternating team members to attend different opportunities. Then, each staff member can come back and share what they learned from the conference, class, webinar, or event they went to. This is a great way to maximize a limited budget and enhance the amount of knowledge your team can gain.

Your practice can also provide mentorship programs or offer special assignments. These opportunities can help your team gain new skills in different areas of the field. Employees might also be interested in cross-training at your practice. This can help them diversify their skills in different areas of the medical field. 

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Be your staff’s biggest cheerleader

When you invest in your team, you maximize their fullest potential. And this also contributes to your practice having a more well-rounded team. 

Remember to have discussions with your team and check in about their goals. Be open to upskilling staff and providing stipends for advanced learning opportunities. 

Your team is likely to feel more motivated and valued when you support their growth and careers. And that can help you retain staff even longer. 

For more tips on improving morale and reducing turnover at your practice, download our checklist on “Staff Retention Tools Every Practice Manager Needs.

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