What drives the use of employee development programs? Are the funds used mostly around the time of an annual review as a result of an employee realizing they are eligible for a raise by obtaining an industry specific certification? Are the funds used primarily as a result of the criticism on a deliverable or a behavior being recognized as needing improvement? If so, it may not necessarily be the availability of the benefit itself causing the disinterest in the program. It may be that the program needs to go beyond that which develops employees. The program must be designed so that it strengthens employees.
Company demographics can be varied. Each company has employees who are both newer to their career and employees who are more established in their field. Both sides need to feel as though their work has a purpose and as though they are growing professionally in order to maintain motivation for success. Professional development traditionally comes in the form of a class offered through a local university, or a seminar on a topic that relates to their field. But it is the non-traditional approach to employee development that has employees feeling not only smarter and well-informed, but stronger and more confident in their knowledge, skills and abilities.
Look inside your organization. Consider utilizing team members with strengths in areas which could be shared with others through a mentoring relationship. Does your employee need to strengthen their presentation skills? Consider asking them to give a presentation to the team on a topic of their choice. Be sure to provide feedback as needed but keep in mind that you are looking for improvement, not perfection. Sometimes an employee simply needs the opportunity to shine. Their opportunity for improvement may be due to the fact that the employee has never recognized their own talent.