Business development · 1 July 2021

The benefits of professional development

The benefits of professional development

Professional development is spoken about a lot in business, but it’s easy to underestimate its importance. It can be tempting to allow professional development to be overtaken by other priorities. After all, when you’re operating in a busy sector, there isn’t always time for development opportunities. But what are the benefits of professional development, and should you be making it a priority?

In this article, we’re going to explain the benefits of professional development for both employees and businesses, as well as answering the question of whether setting time aside for CPD is necessary in your workplace.

Is professional development really that important?

Professional development is often pushed to one side in favour of operational work which has tangible results. It can be hard to see the benefits of professional development straight away, leading it to be forgotten in many workplaces.

However, employees are a central part to any organisation, whether you’re trading as a small business or a limited company. Putting the development of your employees first can help to improve efficiency as well as motivation, changing the dynamics of your business completely.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of prioritising professional development in your workplace.

What is professional development, anyway?

Commonly abbreviated to CPD, Continuing Professional Development aims to give employees the skills that they need to advance and succeed in their chosen careers. Even employees who have all of the necessary skills to perform their job role effectively can benefit from professional development, by learning additional skills which they may need in the future.

Through professional development, employees can become better and more efficient workers, whilst expanding their future opportunities and job prospects.

Professional development doesn’t just cover on-the-job training. It also includes any form of education or learning which can help a worker to improve their skills and knowledge. This could include online training programmes, coaching, mentoring, industry certifications and college courses.

Who does professional development really benefit?

So, who does professional development actually benefit? CPD is extremely beneficial for both the employee who is undertaking it and their workplace. Let’s take a look at who benefits from professional development.

For the employee, they’ll gain confidence in their abilities to perform their role, allowing them to be confident in their success rather than questioning their work. They’ll also gain new skills, allowing them to become more productive and efficient. Not only that, but they’ll also advance their career prospects, enabling them to progress in their chosen career path and making them more employable in the future.

The workplace benefits from CPD as their employees become more motivated and learn new ways to enhance their efficiency and productivity. You might even find that your employees discover new ways of working which enable you to alter your procedures, becoming smarter and more efficient in how your business operates.

Five benefits of CPD for an employee

We’ve established that employees benefit significantly from undertaking professional development. But what exactly are those benefits? Here are the top five benefits of CPD for employees:

  • Demonstrate an ability to self-improve
  • Keep qualifications up to date
  • Stay on top of the latest developments
  • Network with like-minded professionals
  • Uplevel a CV

Demonstrate an ability to self-improve

Completing professional development activities helps an employee to demonstrate their willingness and ability to improve their skills and invest in their careers. This allows employees to highlight themselves as a problem-solver who is committed to improving their abilities.

Encouraging an employee to identify and act upon their limitations will empower them to continuously enhance their skills. This will give the worker improved promotion opportunities and increase career flexibility in the future.

Keep qualifications up to date

Gone are the days where a degree that you completed at the age of 21 will see you through your entire working life. Job requirements are continuously evolving and it’s important to refresh knowledge regularly to ensure that employees don’t get left behind. That could mean taking a new qualification to learn new aspects of a job, or a short training course to refresh existing knowledge.

Stay on top of the latest developments

In today’s increasingly digital world, many industries are evolving quickly. This means new standards are constantly being introduced which are redefining the way that we do business. If an employee stops learning, they’ll quickly get left behind.

Continuing professional development enables employees to keep their skills up to date and relevant to today’s ever-changing world. No industry can avoid this rapid change, but professional development enables employees to keep moving forwards whilst keeping up with the competition.

Network with like-minded professionals

Professional development events are a great way to make connections with like-minded professionals. Close working relationships with professionals from similar businesses can lead to new partnerships and collaboration opportunities. This can help to improve future career prospects whilst identifying new ways of working.

Improve future career prospects

Investing in learning new skills through continuing professional development can help workers to enhance their CVs and demonstrate to future employers that they are committed to their professional development.

Not only that, but learning new skills and gaining new qualifications can lead to career progression, as well as the opportunity to move into new roles.

Five benefits of CPD for a business

The benefits don’t just end with the employee. Professional development is also extremely beneficial for a business, from higher employee retention rates to improved efficiency. Here are the top five benefits of CPD for businesses.

  • Increased employee retention
  • Improved motivation
  • Higher levels of efficiency
  • Increased credibility
  • Facilitate succession planning

Increased employee retention

Every business will be well aware of the high costs of employee turnover. In fact, the average cost of employee turnover amounts to around £11, 000 per person, based on the average UK salary – a staggering cost for any business.

Professional development results in higher employee retention rate, as employees are more likely to remain at a firm that encourages and facilitates professional development opportunities. The benefits of this increase in employee retention are clear, both in terms of cost and efficiency. After all, it’s always better to retain skilled and experienced staff than to hire and train new recruits.

Improved motivation

Employees who are offered regular development opportunities are more likely to feel supported in the workplace, increasing their job satisfaction. Giving your employees the time and resources to progress their professional development allows them to feel like the business is investing in them personally, meaning that they are more likely to feel fulfilled in their job role.

Happy employees are more likely to put full effort into their job role as their motivation levels will be higher. Not only that, but giving an employee support and facilitating their development will make them more likely to invest their own time and effort into progressing their careers.

Higher levels of efficiency

If you’re looking to increase efficiency in your workplace, encouraging professional development may be the way to go. Not only can facilitating CPD help to improve employee motivation and satisfaction, but increasing the skill set of your employees can help to improve their productivity and efficiency.

As your employees learn new skills, they may also begin to suggest new ways of working which improve efficiency, making processes smoother and your business more productive.

Increased credibility

Businesses that encourage and facilitate professional development amongst their employees are often seen as better employers. This heightened reputation can help to increase the quality of applications during recruitment, enabling you to hire better quality staff.


 
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