In the crazy year of 2020, many organizational leaders have tremendous gratitude for their teams. They have seen their team members rapidly pivot their processes and plans. And as we near the end of the year, we want to show our appreciation and further incentivize them to help us reach our goals and objectives. When it comes to how to show gratitude for employees, many of our common “go-tos” such as gift cards, holiday food baskets, and company parties may not be possible and would likely have less of an impact than they usually do.

Professional Development Opportunities

Incentives that accelerate professional development are more beneficial for your teams in the long-term. After all, a gift card is a one-time prize that they’ll soon forget about, but an investment in professional growth is a win-win for both the company and the employees.

Employees agree. A Dale Carnegie survey found that 87% of millennials say that professional development and career growth are significantly important to them. A long-term research project commissioned by Middlesex University for Work Based Learning found that from a 4,300-worker sample, 74% felt that they weren’t achieving their full potential at work due to lack of development opportunities.

Professional development can:

  • Inspire innovation and new ideas.
  • Advance the careers of your team members.
  • Expand the team’s skillset in response to ongoing skill shortages.
  • Equip the team to adapt to changing business structures.
  • Increase worker productivity.
  • Reduce turnover.
  • Align employee development with the organization’s needs.

employee stats

Offering on-demand, online professional development opportunities allows your team members to have more control over their time. Since they’re in charge of when and where they take advantage of this, it prevents this opportunity for career growth from disrupting other priorities they might have in their off time, such as family obligations.

Companies also benefit from Professional Development.  According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), companies that offer comprehensive training programs have a 24% higher profit margin than those who spend less on training. It would seem that continuing to invest in training and development, even amidst an economic downturn, is the smart play.

If you’re not sure how to show gratitude for employees this holiday season, Acuity Institute can help. We are pleased to offer special group rates now through December 30th and several of our online professional development courses will cost less than $100 per person. Contact our team to learn more.


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