A famous quote by Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, Ltd., has been used to inspire and teach people how to lead. The quote is, “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
On our Knowted blog, we tend to focus more on the second part of the quote. We specialize in how to treat employees and empower them. However, the first half of the quote is just as important as the latter.
Training people may sound dull and boring, simply consisting of a few programs and on-boarding sessions to learn the nature of a new job or protocol. Not all companies set up for their employees an ongoing process of learning and expanding, as they should.
Employees should be viewed as long-term investments. Your employees can become your biggest asset and biggest strength, but only if they first become your biggest investment. Let’s take a look at how sending your employees to conferences can be a productive way to invest in their continuous growth as professionals in the field.
Learning and Developing Skills
Conferences are created to share new trends and best practices, as well as bring in keynote speakers who are taking the industry by storm. Employees who attend conferences will learn some of the most progressive knowledge and sharpen the skills they already have.
Some companies might be hesitant to send employees to conferences because measuring the effectiveness can be difficult. However, just because the payoff isn’t clearcut doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Sending employees to conferences not only develops their individual abilities, but also the abilities of the whole office when the employees come back and share their updated learning.
Furthermore, you’re sending the message to your employees that you value them and care about investing in their professional development. When employees feel valued in their workplace, they’re more likely to go the extra mile and reinvest themselves in their work.
Creative Juices Flowing
Another reason employers may hold back from sending employees to conferences is because they don’t want their employees to miss out on a day’s worth of work in the office.
The truth is, though, doing the same job everyday can get boring and demotivating. By going away to a conference, employees have the opportunity to take a break from their typical schedule and do something new and different. By listening to inspiring speakers, chatting with other attendees, and learning all kinds of new information, your employees are likely to come back feeling reenergized and motivated to apply their fresh skillset to their everyday work.
Taking a mental break from our everyday activities, even though still work-related, has a way of reinvigorating our brains once we go back to our routine. Ready to get back into the swing of things, employees will have new ideas and techniques to help innovate your workplace.
Networking All Around
Conferences are made up of many companies’ employees and executives, giving whoever you send a great opportunity to mingle with other professionals in the field. Creating a network of resources is important for every worker, and as an employer attempting to invest in your employees, you should push for them to have reliable points of contact. Credible reference points and people to bounce ideas off of is crucial for developing skills.
Besides, if your employees have strong relationships with other professionals and companies, you could benefit when you’re looking to make new hires or create a partnership.
By sending your employees to a conference, you’re automatically giving your brand name coverage to all the other companies in attendance, and you’ll be represented well by your chosen employees. The brand awareness opportunity is hard to pass up.
Conferences can be expensive, but the value your employees, and in turn your company, will receive is well worth the cost. Part of being a successful business is investing your resources into your biggest asset: your employees.
For more ideas on how to invest in your employees, reach out to Knowted and read up on our products and services.