The joy of giving professional development to your staff

It’s December, and we all know what that means: holiday season festivities, including well-deserved gifts for your staff! A bottle of wine, a pair of mittens, a gift card -- or something that will help them invest in their future? For higher education administrators, professional development opportunities can be more valuable and useful than more impersonal gifts.

A professional development gift is a great way to reward and recognize both new and experienced employees, and show that you care about their professional growth and goals. For example:

  • A training program can provide answers to the “what” and “how” questions for someone new to the field.  
  • Staff can develop skills and knowledge as technology and practices evolve, and become more efficient and effective team players.
  • An investment in training can bring forward new responsibilities and improve job satisfaction for your staff.
  • Experts and practitioners can guide and provide insight into the next steps for seasoned professionals to reach career goals.

Here are some unique professional development opportunities from AACRAO:

Send staff to Florida!  AACRAO’s 104th Annual Meeting will be in Orlando in March. Attendees can network with more than 2,000 administrators who are looking to learn, gain inspiration, and return to the office reinvigorated with new ideas and solutions.  

Give the gift of an AACRAO publication. If your budget is limited, AACRAO publications make great stocking stuffers this holiday season. Choose from our staff picks:

Leadership Lessons: Vision and Values for a New Generation

Student Displacement: A Guide for Higher Education Administrators

SEM Core Concepts: Building Blocks for Institutional and Student Success

AACRAO 2013 FERPA Quick Guide

AACRAO Guide to Graduation Ceremonies

Ask your staff: What do you need to succeed? What kind of training, association membership, or certification would help each member of your team excel? It's likely that your staff members have a 'wish list' that will help them attain their personal and professional goals.

Still stumped? Check out these budget-friendly ideas from Business Insider.