The success of a company is hinged on multiple factors and its employees are the most important ones. As corporations seek to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage, it’s essential that they know how to optimise the potential and leverage the strength of this valuable resource.
Nurturing the workforce and ensuring that they put their best foot forward to leverage the company’s success is in the good interest of the latter. But for employees to ace their work performances, they need to stay current in their fields and gain knowledge on a continuous basis that gives them ‘the edge’.
This is where the idea of CPD or Continuing Professional Development enters the fray. CPD, as we know, is a commitment by professionals (and organisations too) to continually update their skills and knowledge in order to remain competent in their field of work. For some fields (like Law and Medicine), CPD is a statutory requirement in most countries, while for others, it is not mandatory, yet of utmost importance.
CPD helps in ensuring that an employee establishes enough competence over the job. Undertaking CPD activities, combined with experiential learning, is a crucial activity for organisations to see that all-round skills and knowledge of their employees are up-to-date. Companies (especially dealing in Law, Accounts, Trading) need to get involved in CPD to maintain their licenses and to stay abreast about incumbent regulations. By fostering professional development of their employees, companies help them (the employees) in developing greater feelings of contentment at work and it is a definite way of driving business growth.
What does CPD hold for individual employees? For them, it means gaining knowledge to achieve career progression and enriching their vocational understanding. By learning and developing new skills, and being a part of continued development in the workplace inevitably helps individuals to enhance their performance, which means they are in a better position for promotion, responsibilities and, possibly even, a pay rise.
The onus of CPD lies as much on the employee to acquire it as it is on the company to provide it. Of course, individuals must attain their own CPD not just by taking the learning modules provided by the company as a part of the training programme, but also by working on their own towards building their individual cache of knowledge that can be used anytime, anywhere. This can happen best through interactions with co-workers and other people from the field, through both, informal and formal channels. I have written about ‘Cultivating a Continuous Learning Mindset for Continuing Professional Development’.
Companies need to be actively involved in their employees’ CPD because they can then chart these objectives with the larger goals of the organisation. The employees, meanwhile, feel that their CPD efforts have come to fruition leading to improved satisfaction, motivation and efficiency.
In the end, it is more or less a symbiotic relationship since CPD is all about a mutually beneficial arrangement for both -the company and the employee.
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