Increasing the competency and effectiveness of employees is usually the driving factor behind a company's decision to either offer or require professional development. But these programs can also boost morale by positioning participants to advance their careers through acquiring new skills or gaining insight into an area of the company they might be unfamiliar with. And being selected to travel to a conference can make an employee feel special or rewarded for his or her hard work.
But managers have to balance these benefits with the costs associated with such programs. Class or instructor fees, travel expenses, downtime and lost productivity are just some considerations to make. Another is the applicability of the particular program. Is it really necessary? Will it have a measurable impact on day-to-day operations? Will the staff be able to participate while juggling their normal workload?
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