Planning For Continuing Professional Development

  • Ezra
  • March 2nd, 2021

CPD (continuing professional development) is a combination of different methodologies that helps to train and empower your workforce. Ezra discusses the benefits of CPD to employee and employer, and how to integrate a worthwhile CPD plan into your organization.

Planning CPD

Continuing professional development (also known as CPD) is an ongoing process that aims to develop and maintain the professional skills of your workforce. This is a modern workplace practice that combines many different methodologies in order to teach your employees and prepare them for a future career as their role grows within your organization.

What does CPD mean today?

In a modern workplace, continued professional development is a practice that helps your employees become better at their jobs. In most cases, it means teaching your staff new skills, helping them practice those skills, and embedding the practice of continuous learning into your workplace culture.

For employers, this means investing in a number of different programs and processes that can help your employers take advantage of continued professional development. There is no real limit to who can benefit from continued professional development. It’s applicable to the bulk of your workforce but can also apply to senior management staff and even the company CEO.

Continuing professional development can mean a number of different things but the most common methodologies often include:

  • Educational workshops that take place in-house or at a specified location
  • Informative conferences and events
  • e-Learning programs that take place over the internet
  • Technology-based solutions such as a virtual training system or coaching app
  • Webinars given to staff within your office or over the internet
  • Sharing best practices and techniques for a specific role within the company or industry
  • Academic qualifications
  • Practical learning
  • Guided teaching approaches such as coaching

By utilizing these different teaching methodologies, you can offer your staff continuous professional development that nurtures their skills and helps them establish a life-long career within your company that engages them and keeps them satisfied with their progress and position.

Why is CPD important?

Continued professional development can be considered a non-financial motivator. It’s an effective way to retain and also attract new employees.

The 2020 Workplace Learning Report compiled by LinkedIn shows the effectiveness of continuing professional development, especially when it is spearheaded by the company itself. According to the data gathered by the social networking service, a staggering 94% of respondents said they were more likely to stay with a company for a longer if they invested in their development regardless of their current position.

This shows that continued professional development can be an effective motivator regardless of the worker’s current position. Whether they’re a fresh intern that just started with the company or a decade-old veteran, there’s value in teaching employees and helping them develop new skills.

Employer benefits

Here are some surprising statistics that show the effectiveness of adopting continued professional development methodologies into your workplace.

74% of employees believe they aren’t reaching their full potential

In a survey carried out by The Learning Wave, roughly 74% of employees believe they aren’t reaching their full potential. With a dedicated continued professional development plan, employers can offer important skills to their staff in order to help them reach their maximum potential, thus turning them into extremely productive members of staff that will more than make up for the investment.

Companies can expect 24% higher profit margins when investing in training

The Huffington Post found that companies can expect 24% higher profit margins if a company invests in training their staff members. The majority of this benefit comes from the retention of staff which translates into cost savings due to money saved in replacing employees. However, training staff can also improve their productivity depending on their role within the workplace.

Integrating a workforce-centric CPD plan

There are clear benefits to integrating a continued professional development plan into the workplace. However, most companies tend to neglect the importance of ensuring that it takes place systematically and integrating it into the culture of the workplace.

There are four important responsibilities that employees must understand before attempting to integrate a workforce-centric continued professional development:

  • Training needs must be analyzed before being implemented. Employers must speak with managers and staff to ensure that their training needs are identified and met. In cases where it’s not clear what staff need to learn, managers must make informed decisions based on the staff’s role within the workplace.
  • Communication is important to help staff understand the benefits of continued professional development. It’s also important to speak about how continued professional development can take place within the company and what is expected from both employers and employees.
  • Encouraging participation is also important. Leaders must ensure that their staff see continued professional development activities as a positive to help teach them new skills and reinforce existing ones.
  • The delivery method of the training must also be taken into consideration. There are many different teaching methodologies that have varying levels of success. Be it workshops hosted on-site or giving access to self-teaching resources such as e-Learning courses, there are many different ways to deliver the necessary training.
  • Lastly, it’s important to follow up with any training that you engage your employees in. This is important to identify whether the training was a success or not and to highlight any inefficiencies within your workforce-centric continued professional development plan that should be addressed.

The role of coaching in CPD

Continuing professional development is an ongoing process that engages employees throughout their time with a company. While practicing continued professional development can involve a hands-off approach (especially with the wide selection of learning resources available online) leaders and managers require something more tailored and personalized if you want to support their continued professional development in a meaningful way.

This makes it important to tailor the learning process and experience to suit their position as it evolves based on their roles and responsibilities. Management is a unique role that can change based on the needs of the business, a focus on communication and training delivery methods is the way to lean into an optimal approach. Implementing a leadership coaching program within your organization can be a fantastic way to give your leaders the support they need while also providing a tailored form of learning that is built around their individual needs.

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