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 employeeWe’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-improveCompleting 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 dateGone 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 developmentsIn 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 professionalsProfessional 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 prospectsInvesting 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 businessThe 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 retentionEvery 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 motivationEmployees 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 efficiencyIf 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 credibilityBusinesses 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. Not only that, but supporting professional development also signifies competency on the behalf of your business. Having highly skilled employees will make your business stand out as being experts in your field, attracting a greater number of customers and enhancing your business’ reputation in your field.
Facilitate succession planningSuccession planning is a critical aspect of any business – no business wants to be left in the lurch if another employee leaves the business or retires, so it’s important to keep succession in mind at all times. The best way to facilitate succession planning is to identify where skills and talent already exist in the business and then develop those skills over time. Training existing employees who demonstrate talent is often more cost effective than hiring from outside the business, and their experience can prove valuable. Professional development activities can help to highlight those employees who demonstrate talent whilst giving them the opportunity to progress their skills ready to take the next step in their career.
Is professional development right for your business?As the world of business continues to evolve at a rapid rate, organisations may be left wondering whether professional development is right for their business. After all, it may take time away from operational activities, and some employees may be reluctant to take part. The answer to this question is yes – professional development is right for every business, no matter what industry you operate in. The rapidly changing business landscape means that employees need to stay up to date with the latest advances to remain current. Not only will this benefit your employee’s future career prospects, but it will also benefit your business, bringing new skills into the business and improving your employee retention rates. Whether it’s in-house training, external qualifications or live conferences, continuing professional development is a great way to ensure that your business remains competitive in the ever-changing world of business.
How do you define professional development?Professional development refers to the process of continually developing skills which can be used in the workplace. This can be through formal qualifications such as training courses or college courses, or informal learning opportunities such as live webinars or conferences. Professional development is a tool that benefits both employees and their workplaces, so it’s a vital concept in the world of business.
Is CPD A Qualification?CPD isn’t a qualification, but the practice of continually improving the skills and competencies of an employee to enhance their professional performance and future career prospects. CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development and is typically broken into bite sized chunks spread throughout the year, allowing the employee to gradually build upon their skills and abilities. CPD can include formal qualifications such as degrees or diplomas, but also informal training opportunities such as online courses and conferences.
Personal development vs professional development – what’s the difference?Many people wonder what the difference is between personal and professional development. Personal development refers to developing skills which will help you in life. This could include focusing on building your confidence, improving your communication skills or working on your time management skills. Professional development involves developing skills which will help you in your specific job role. This could include advanced qualifications, or specific training opportunities.
CPD: To avoid or embrace?The world of business is constantly evolving, at a faster rate than ever before. This continuously changing business landscape means that both employees and businesses need to work hard to keep up or they risk being left behind. This means that workers need to constantly refine their skill set to enable them to outperform the competition. The job market is more competitive than ever before, with employers working hard to secure the best candidates for their roles. However, your work isn’t over once your new employee is through the door – you also have to work hard to keep them, or you risk losing them to a competitor. This means demonstrating that you’re willing to invest in their careers by offering strong professional development opportunities. However, professional development isn’t just important for your employees: It’s also vital for your business. Investing in the skills of your workforce will help your business to remain at the forefront of your industry, and to stay ahead of the competition. That’s why professional development is so important, no matter what business you run and which industry you’re operating in.
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