FIVE Keys to Building a Solid Professional Development Strategy

Summer is here. And, while some of us are thinking about the beach, many executives are thinking about the other ‘b’ word….budgeting.

With budgeting in mind, here are a few thoughts on the subject of outsourcing, a strategy that companies use to create efficiencies without compromising the system’s integrity, or diminishing important core competencies.

Tax preparation, payroll, social media, and web design are functions that mid-sized companies commonly outsource. They require specific skills outside of those necessary to operate the business day-to-day. It is simply more efficient to hire external experts to perform those tasks.

But, what about outsourcing professional development? You might argue that developing talent should be a core competency, and should be offered internally; that it should be woven into the company’s operations, central to its growth strategy.

Many mid-sized companies cannot support mature HR departments capable of delivering the scope of services that includes professional development.

So, how can these companies outsource professional development, and at the same time build the internal capabilities required to fully execute on the strategy long-term? In other words, how can ‘outsourcing’ professional development result in transformational change?

Outsourcing professional development require vision. Here’s what partnering to deliver high impact professional development could look like:

  1. Focused Attention: Contract with a partner who only works with a few clients at a time. And, who acts with urgency. Help them to fully understand the unique cultural norms, behaviors and beliefs of your company.
  2. Relationships: Find someone who will takes the time to build relationships throughout the company…subtly and unobtrusively. Who will spend time on site, and over time become part of the team. Where appropriate, who will even set up shop onsite, and observe team productivity and team culture.
  3. Knowledge Transfer: Work with someone who will help your internal leaders be more ‘coach-like.’ Who will train managers to deliver quick coaching sessions with team members regularly. Who will teach them valuable coaching competencies, like awareness, vision and reflection conversations, accountability and feedback, using the GROW model and other related skills and techniques.
  4. Team Effectiveness: Find a resource that can also deliver a Team Effectiveness Assessment and Program. One that helps your teams operate at their full potential by improving awareness around roles, purpose, decision making, support, trust and communication.
  5. Goals and Outcomes Focused: While each team member focuses on their individual and team objectives, work with someone who will keep the organization’s big picture goals front and center, and whose efforts directly support those goals and desired outcomes.

Great hiring practices and ongoing professional development should be core to your company’s growth strategy. And, partnering with the right external team…one capable of connecting and producing positive impulses internally… is an outsourcing strategy that makes sense.

At The Curci Group, we are guided by our shared values – accountability, effectiveness, simplicity, focus and results – which have made us a valued partner and trusted resource for the past ten years.

For mid-sized companies, we connect the HR department to its professional development goals. Using a strengths-based approach, we supply the positive impulses necessary to keep the organization healthy and efficient, by developing talent and reducing turnover.