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As a business owner, you know that it’s imperative that your company is constantly moving forward. A stagnant business is a dying business but there’s only so much you can do yourself to keep your business trending in a positive direction. While it’s crucial that you continue to grow as a leader and that your business continues to grow as an entity, the only way for that to happen is if your employees continue to grow and develop as professionals. Here are some tips for successfully encouraging professional development for your team.

Provide Consistent Feedback

While many employers provide yearly evaluations that often result in pay raises, more frequent, consistent feedback is more beneficial for both the employee and the company. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your employees fear or resent constructive criticism but the fastest growing demographic of employees actually crave it. Taking time throughout the year to praise employees and offer constructive criticism is best for the whole team.

Provide Continued Education

If you have an enthusiastic employee who wants to grow and develop into a more involved part of the team, you need to be encouraging them. Instead of allowing an excellent employee to become complacent and eventually disenfranchised take steps to promote their development and invest in them. Most professional fields have continuing education opportunities, either online or in-person across the country. If you have an employee who has the potential to be a key part of your company long term, don’t be afraid to send them to some of these on the company’s dime.

Provide Opportunities for Employees to Invest

This concept doesn’t necessarily mean providing opportunities for stock ownership even though that is an excellent way to encourage hard work and development. Instead of stock, let employees have the opportunity to pitch ideas to the business that they believe can be profitable. This creates an open atmosphere and a company culture where everyone feels like their voice is heard. People will work harder for a business that values them as a contributor instead of another number in the payroll system.

Your company’s future health depends on the employees who work for you. Encouraging them to develop into the best team members that they can be is a key step in your success.