Workforce challenges are a hot topic right now. Experts have all kinds of reasons that might explain why 4.5 million people left their jobs in November. Perhaps more important: how do we keep the employees who haven’t left? Lots of studies offer ideas, including professional development that helps your team members strengthen their skills, pursue their passions, and deepen their commitment to your mission.


Leadership skills are especially important, and embedding these essential qualities throughout your organization will create a culture that inspires and motivates achievement. As we consider the long list of issues that need to be addressed – from supply chain issues to ghosting and managing remote work teams – it is clear that we need leaders at all levels of the organization: people who are creative problem-solvers and can collaborate to realize common goals.


Some leaders have important titles and are ultimately responsible for the success of an organization. But these people need leaders supporting them. “Titled” leaders will only succeed if those they seek to persuade feel empowered to lead within their own sphere of influence.


Leadership can come naturally. We all know someone who is a “born leader.” But leadership qualities can be learned. Which brings me back to the beginning: professional development is vital to every organization’s success. Leadership skills can be created. They can be developed. And, they should be continuously improved with training and the opportunity to practice.


When was the last time you offered your team a chance to invest in their professional development? How about suggesting to one of your department heads that they rally their staff for a day of off-site training and team-building at the upcoming Spark Summit (March 9 at the Harbor Hotel!)? The experts say this single day of professional development will lead to increased productivity, more involved and autonomous staff, and a hunger to grow professionally.