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We all know that the professional development of staff is essential for the growth and well-being of an organization, but it often gets nixed because of the assumption that a substantial amount of time and money is necessary for ongoing training to be feasible. However, with a little creativity, you may find that you have all of the resources you need to continually develop your team without spending extra money and with minimal extra time.

 

Here are three low-cost, minimal time-commitment ideas to get you started thinking about a professional development program for your organization today.

 

Host a resource share

Resource shares are free, fun, and lighten the load of a professional development program by divvying out the work among all team member. To establish a regular resource share, you would set-up weekly or monthly gatherings and assign a team member to lead each meeting. On their turn, each team member brings a book, article, video, or something else that they’ve found to be informative or useful and present it to the group. This method has the added benefit of getting employees actively engaged in the process rather than simply being passive attendees.

 

Take advantage of in-house expertise

 

Most organizations have a plethora of experience under their own roofs. Poll your employees for special skills, passions, and professional experience and arrange for them to spread the wealth at a formal or informal organizational meeting. These presentations could take place in a boardroom or over coffee after work, depending on the topic.

 

Launch a mentor program

 

Help your new employees adapt and grow into their roles by pairing them up with senior staff through a mentor program. This program could could be as formal or informal as best suits your organization. For example, you could simply ask a more experienced team member to check-in with the new staff person regularly. Or you could formalize the mentorship by setting forth some guidelines for the mentor to follow (e.g., weekly meetings, occasional assessments, etc.).

 

There are many approaches to training and professional development for organizations that are short on resources. With a little creativity, you can create something that keeps your team growing and thriving for years to come.

 

There are many approaches to training and professional development for organizations that are short on resources. With a little creativity, you can create something that keeps your team growing and thriving for years to come.

 

Want to learn more about how to provide professional development to your team when you’re short on resources? Check out this article in the NonProfit Times.