Is it worth the time and resources to implement a career training and professional development program for marketing professionals? As with other types of industry, there’s a lot to be said for improving an employee’s skill sets and grooming him or her for a potential leadership position down the road. However, not everyone believes it’s an employer’s place to further educate employees beyond what they’ve been hired to do.

A broader look at the possible advantages career development offers should make marketing agencies and other marketing professionals take a closer look at the benefits of career training.

First, what exactly is “professional development?” In general, this refers to employee participation in activities that produce new knowledge and job skills, which leads to greater efficiency and productivity within an organization. Typically, professional development activities include webcasts, seminars (on site and off site), leadership and management courses, and industry conferences.

Here are a few ways how marketing professionals can benefit from career training:

Expanding range of skills and increased job satisfaction. Acquiring new skills often results in becoming more organized and executing one’s job responsibilities in a more efficient way than ever before. Becoming better at a job leads to higher confidence levels and a willingness to take on new challenges. When you know you’re good at what you do, your satisfaction level increases — the ideal blend of knowledge and attitude that promotes greater on-the-job achievements.

Keeps marketing professionals updated on industry trends. As with other fields, marketing is always in flux, as new trends and technological advances change the industry landscape. Professional development keeps individuals updated on changes in the field and better prepared to seize opportunities for new marketing ventures and initiatives.

Leads to enhanced employee retention. Marketing professionals are inquiring and ambitious by nature. Career training helps satisfy the need to be challenged in one’s work — as opposed to simply doing the same things, day in and day out — and lessens the urge for some individuals to look elsewhere for employment. Learning new skills contributes to a higher level of enthusiasm that can result in impressive levels of loyalty to one’s employer.

Boosts passion and collaboration. It’s all too easy for marketing professionals to settle into a routine — doing the tasks they know how to do effectively, but without passion or drive. Professional development can re-ignite passion in what drove these individuals into marketing in the first place, but it can also generate new excitement in aspects of marketing they previously knew little about.

Additionally, when marketing professionals participate in training together, the experience often produces a greater sense of collaboration. Employees who learn together get to know one another on a deeper level in a bonding experience that can lead to more effective teamwork on large marketing campaigns or initiatives.

Builds a marketing firm’s recruiting efforts. When word gets around that your firm places a high priority on expanding its employees’ skill and knowledge, your recruiting efforts can see new benefits.

This type of “employee-friendly brand” can be extremely useful in terms of attracting a higher quality of job candidates — a potentially huge competitive advantage in today’s highly competitive job market. By contrast, professionals who don’t actively train their workforce will likely have a lackluster slate of job candidates from which to choose.

Benefits your firm’s image. When you send members of your staff to marketing conferences, workshops and tradeshows, they serve as brand ambassadors for your firm. Individuals who are excited about their work and who demonstrate a deeper understanding of the industry than their peers speaks well for your brand image. This in turn gets people wanting to learn more about a firm that so clearly values employee development.

The search for engaged and productive marketing professionals has never been as urgent as today. By offering opportunities to learn and grow, you’ll attract the kind of qualified candidates that bring long-term value to your firm and your customers.