Don't Shy Away From PDA With Your Team

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The 2015 budget-building season is upon us. You and your CFO have consider ways to keep your best talent and attract the future stars of your organization. A good way to see if the young talent is a good long term fit for your business is to offer them some PDA, and see what they do.

Nope, not a public display of affection – offer a professional development allowance.

Related: Today's Most Satisfied Employees Demand These 4 Things

Many Gen-Y workers put a higher value on training and development than employers realize. Offering them some compensation for bettering themselves will attract talent to your organization. It will also develop your current talent faster, especially if your company is already offering internal training and development programs. Allow your employees to use their professional development allowance on outside coaching, attending seminars, online course or maybe spending time seeing how a sister organization operates.

For younger hires new to the organization, make clear that a manager or leader must approve the activity. When the emlpoyee has completed the experience, have them write a brief essay or report on what they learned and how that will improve them. Don’t focus on how what they chose will help the company.

Related: The Importance of Employee Development

Offering a professional development allowance is an investment in your people that is likely to help your organization. Consider offering allowances after an annual review with an existing employee so they can improve in the areas where there is room for growth.

You can also use a professional development allowance to help you in a tough hiring decision.

Let’s say you have narrowed your search down to two great candidates. You can give them both the option of either taking a slightly lower salary with a nice PDA or a slightly higher salary without any PDA (but still lower than total compensation with PDA). For example compensation could be $50,000 with a $5,000 professional development allowance OR a $52,500 without any PDA. It might not be the sole determining factor, but if one chooses the allowance and one chooses the higher salary, it could indicate which will help grow the organization.

As you build out your budget for the upcoming year, leave  a few bucks for employees to invest in themselves.

Related: How to Make Employee Training a Winning Investment