Investing in your team’s professional development is a win for everyone. But sometimes, that win feels a little intangible. Here’s a way to make it very concrete for both you and your employee.

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Hey, everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. This week, coming to you from Kansas City. A lot of you invest in your people in terms of sending them to workshops and conferences. And sometimes, I think agency owners wonder, “How do I know that my people are actually attending, learning, and what are they bringing back to the agency?” So here’s a really simple way to ensure that you will know the information, which is, yep, they attended, yes, they learned something, and they’re bringing something back that we can use. Before your employee heads off to hop on a plane or a train or drive to whatever that event is, what you want to say to them is, “You know what, we’re super proud that we’re able to send you to this event, that we’re able to invest in your professional development and your education. Then here’s what we ask in return. When you come back, what we would like, is we would like you to do a presentation, it could be to the leadership team, it could just be to you, it could be to the entire agency. And what we want you to do is we want you to bring back one idea that will either make the agency $5,000 or save the agency $5,000.” By the time you buy a plane ticket and you put them up in a hotel for a couple days, you feed them, you pay for the conference or the workshop, ball-park-ish, it probably does cost you around $5,000, maybe a little less. But if they walk into that event knowing that they have to come back showing a way to save or make $5,000 to kind of offset the cost of that investment, they will walk into that experience listening for and looking for ways to bring ideas back to the agency. So that way, it’s a very tangible, easy way for them to demonstrate what they learned, for your agency to actually realize true tangible value back to the agency for the investment you made, and for a way to bring that learning from the one person back, so that it’s a one-to-many teaching opportunity. It’s also a great opportunity for your person to develop some presentation skills. So all around, super easy, very tangible, very manageable, and a great way to demonstrate real value for the investment you’re making in your employee. Okay, that’s it. Bring back an idea where we can make $5,000 or we can save $5,000. That’s how we’re going to demonstrate the value of the investment that we’re making in you on top of the learning and all the other good things that happen. All right, I’ll see you next week.

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