Professional Development: The Imperative to Assist Employees


I recall some years ago being hired for a position by a manager who was also my boss. She expressed that she needed my expertise in the department. At the same time, however I recall a comment that she made sort of off the cuff. She said, “This will help you here or wherever you decide to go next.”

Loyalty – I realized that my boss was serious and that she was intent on developing her employees. I appreciated how open she was about this. There seemed to be an imperative for her to help me advance. This engendered loyalty on my part which is a bit of a contradiction since the understanding was that I would learn and perhaps move on.

Development – Managers should be interested in developing their employees. Employee development is good for morale and good for the organization. Development of employees can also aid in retention. Employee retention is important because it reduces expense as far as continuous hiring and training of new employees. Training employees also builds fealty to the organization. I understand that it can be easy to get lost in one’s own work and demands. Hopefully, your department or agency places value and emphasis on developing workers. This facet of work life is a prime decision factor when looking for a position and it should be. We should always be looking to add skills and improve ourselves to prepare for future opportunities.

Helping Others – The desire to improve oneself is just natural. What is not natural in every instance though is for managers to be interested and active in helping their subordinates to reach their goals. As mentioned in a previous article, a sense of altruism is a characteristic that managers should possess which is the desire to make work life better for everyone.

Enrichment – Helping others to achieve their goals is rewarding for both a manager and employees. Working together toward professional development builds esprit de corps and enriches work life. When employees are given opportunities to grow and learn, they gain a sense of personal achievement that is meaningful on a personal level. This is what most of us desire from our jobs.

Being hired with the understanding that there will be significant opportunities for professional growth is a benefit that is very important for employees. One should expect to acquire expertise in their work life and then have opportunities to demonstrate that expertise on a regular basis. A manager should desire to develop their employees to make their department better and to also make the employee better – whether that employee is there for the long term or just as a stop on the career path. The mandate to develop and encourage those around them makes managers and the organization better.


Tim Dendy is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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Shani Jackson

How do we encourage managers to train, develop and take the time out to invest in their staff in a work force of high demands?

Robert Edward Owen

Make it part of their job description and hold them to it. Their evaluations should reflect how well they are doing this.
Unfortunately, as in the case here, all the great things brought out in this article are promised but never fulfilled unless you are a personal friend of management or a member of the same men’s organization.

Amy DeWolf

I love that you listed loyalty at the top of the list! So key in building trust and developing your employees (and showing them you care about current and future development! )