Professional development as a central factor in employee satisfaction

Lea Naschberger -unless-
Posted by LEA NASCHBERGER

In this post, we show how employees’ desires for professional development and their happiness relate to each other — and how you as a business can support your employees in this endeavor.

More and more workers long for self-actualization in their careers. Seventy-one percent would even like to ditch the nine-to-five job for a career that challenges and stimulates them. For those who’d like to be happy and satisfied at work, professional development is key. Businesses that recognize and support this desire will be the ultimate winners in the “war for talent” — and can know they’ve got the best team possible. 

How does the desire for professional development relate to employee satisfaction? The human is a complex being with individual needs. Therefore, it’s crucial that businesses listen to their employees and plan time to take them, and their needs, seriously. The recipe for employee happiness can only work as a team effort. Whether it’s language learning or team building, professional development promotes satisfaction within the team and success for the whole company.

Would you like your employees to be happier and more motivated at work? Then download our new booklet, “Keys to Employee Satisfaction.”

More employee satisfaction through professional development  

Well done! You’ve already taken the first step as a business: Just by being interested in the happiness of your employees, you’re already further along than a lot of your competitors. You’re reading around in the topic and are open to positive change. In today’s global and digital corporate world, you can only stand out as a business if you truly offer added value. Amidst a continuing skilled labor shortage, the fight for the best talent is not merely national, but international.

But what exactly does “professional development” mean? “Learning, growth and change means something different to everyone. What matters most is whether or not a person has the opportunity for development at all,” says Alyssa Windmüller. She should know: She’s currently the People & Culture Manager in charge of the well-being of the entire Babbel team. Babbel itself places a great emphasis on employee happiness, so as to set a great example for our customer base. Alyssa describes this as a “living corporate culture,” which supports good communication between international teams from over 50 countries with the language learning offers from Babbel for Business.

 “If we, as a company in the learning industry, were to withhold such development opportunities from our own workforce — how would our own customers trust us?” 

Professional development as individual path 

Every person is different, and what motivates someone depends largely upon their stage in life. While one person values flexible work hours, another might prefer to work from home. Someone striving for an international career might have a different idea of professional development than someone concentrating on raising a family. “Satisfaction means something different for everyone,” says Alyssa. “For some people, it has quite a lot to do with their work, and for others that hardly factors in at all.” Therefore, it’s vital for businesses to discover the individual needs of their employees — and offer tailored support. This necessitates time, mutual trust, and above all empathy. It’s a good idea to answer the following questions together with your team:

  • What needs to change fundamentally in the workplace, so that employees are happier?
  • Are there particular aspects of the work environment that have a decisive effect on employee wellbeing?
  • What kind of continuing education is the right fit?

Employee satisfaction is a complex idea, and it can’t be achieved overnight. What’s more important is to embark on the process together — for personal and professional success.

How a Happiness Manager can enrich your team 

Day-to-day employee happiness is a worthy goal. But if it’s not implemented, then it’s all talk and no action. To keep that from happening, some firms have a Happiness Manager or Chief Happiness Officer: as the contact person for employee needs, this individual can play a crucial mediating role. At the same time, these managers make sure that a corporate culture’s new values are truly implemented. A “holistic perspective” is an absolute must! “We take care of benefits, the onboarding of new employees and the management of expectations,” says Alyssa, who always has the well-being of the Babbel team top of mind. According to her, another important factor is providing employees with regular feedback and asking them regularly about their needs. Only in this way can employers better understand — and increase — employee satisfaction. 

happy employee giving a presentation

Language learning as a meaningful benefit for professional development 

Ping pong table and fruit bowl? That’s so yesterday. Today, it’s intrinsically motivated benefits such as language learning that go above and beyond the usual benefits package. After all, the broadening of one’s own knowledge and skills is something numerous workers name outright as the most important benefit of their workplace training. It’s no longer just international employees who need to be able to express themselves in multiple languages at work. And what’s more, language learning not only looks great on the resumé, but it’s also an important experience in personal education: A new language opens a treasure trove of new experiences for the learner to create. Positive feedback, as well as learning in tandem or in a group environment, prepares the speaker for a number of different speaking situations. To be able to put yourself in your counterpart’s shoes and understand each other without obstacles is an important asset for the professional future.

Provide your employees with the professional development of language courses

An active culture of language learning doesn’t just nurture the continuing education of your employees, but rather shows potential candidates that an international and open culture dominates at your business. Especially on the international market, a global outlook is of the highest importance when it comes to employer branding. By including offers of professional development and continuing education, you’re showing that you are nurturing a future-proof and sustainable corporate culture.

With Babbel for Business, you’ll lay an important cornerstone for groundbreaking professional development. Digital tools and opportunities for self-learning are already in use by younger employees every day, and along with them a culture of readiness to learn something new. Your employees can freely choose which languages they’d like to learn, and which learning goals they’d like to achieve.

If you’re interested in digital language learning as a professional development opportunity for your team, then Babbel for Business could be the right fit for you. Discover everything about employee happiness in our practical booklet “The Path to Employee Satisfaction.” Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact our Team.

Lea Naschberger, Content Project Manager

Lea is an expert in HR topics such as employee benefits or corporate learning. She believes that multilingual teams are the key to success.

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