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In today’s workforce, especially at its junior end, there’s an expectation that employers will contribute to professional development. This desire for workplace development has influenced a change in what job applicants are looking for.

To attract the right candidates, employers should now consider what opportunities they can offer for future learning and knowledge development. In fact, given the potential benefits, some UK employers actively expect their staff to commit to Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

What is professional development, or CPD?

Continuing Professional Development, or CPD, is a formalised process of adding to employee’s education and training.

Some employment sectors have strict requirements for ongoing CPD in order to maintain a professional licence, such as doctors. It ensures that the standards and knowledge of the original qualification are upheld. Pretty desirable in someone tasked with looking after nearest and dearest.

What are the workplace benefits of professional development?

Furnishing employees with the chance to continue their professional development can have benefits for all involved. It ensures the ongoing competency of employees, giving credibility to their abilities both within the business, and externally. Professional development is also an essential tool for protecting and enhancing the knowledge base of any business.

Staff will feel valued, with a sense of accomplishment which is a huge boost to confidence. Showing a willingness to invest in their development will encourage a sense of loyalty as well as self-worth.

Attending training, in whatever format, will give employees the chance to network with their contemporaries; a useful source of information and industry best practice. It can foster innovation and creative problem solving which might otherwise be inhibited by stagnation.

Introducing personal and professional development to your workplace

The professional development activities you permit might depend on the ultimate goals of your staff and the needs of the business. Design and implement a professional development plan in consultation with individual staff members.

Focusing on personalised learning will help you target training for the current and future needs of the business. It’s also a way of tackling any issues, such as the handling of customer service calls, for example.

Asking staff for their input encourages their engagement, identifying the things they like best. Draw on their front-line knowledge of what their role needs now, and to develop with stability.

Opportunities for personal and professional development

Personal and professional development is useful to record. Progress can be monitored, which is useful for future planning, as evidence of opportunities provided and undertaken.

Professional development opportunities might not always take the form of classroom environment learning. Attendance of networks, lectures, seminars, self-study or conferences can be useful.

Don’t overlook the usefulness of job shadowing, either. It can be valuable for team building, and might lead to new innovations and processes which improve efficiency as a result of better understanding of each other’s roles.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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