The Power of Continuing Professional Development.
We, HR professionals, are generally skilled at giving constructive feedback, coaching, mentoring and helping people to reach their full potential. However, we are often so busy dealing with our professional remit and advising others that we do not allocate enough time to reflect on our own development. When the CIPD announced that they would ask members randomly to submit their CPD (Continuing Professional Development) for assessment a number of my peers wondered how they could achieve this, what the content could be and if they would ever have time to compile enough information to comply.
I, however, was thrilled about the potential opportunity so I decided to share with you in a nutshell a number of activities that could get you where you want to be, whilst balancing a busy schedule.
- Find topical seminars and webinars
A number of consultancies, legal firms or professional branches offer insightful seminars or webinars that will bring you up to date with legal changes or will address hot topic (Managing Mental Health Issues in the Workplace or Efficient Coaching for example). Ideally you will aim to attend and bring back one idea that you can implement right away in your department or your organisation.
- Ensure to complete regular bite size learning sessions
If you are lucky enough to be in an organisation with an online learning system keep a focus on two or three topics that will assist your development (personal branding, change management, the art of delegation etc.). If not, you can find such support online via YouTube, LinkedIn or professional sites.
And if you have time…. Join a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses). These are often free and will allow you to join an interactive and stimulating global community of learners whilst you hone your skills in, for example, project management or any other skill you wish to add to your set.
- Be a mentee or a mentor (or both)
Join a programme through the CIPD, your own organisation or LinkedIn. The ideal is to start by being a mentee. If you have the right mentor this is one of the best learning experiences you will get. When you have enjoyed the support of a mentor, give back to the profession by being a mentor yourself. You will be surprised how fulfilling this can be too. Going through both over the last 18 months I can assure you that you will get benefits out of both and you will be a better “proposition” at the end. You can even forge some valuable relationships in the profession.
- Get involved
Spare time to get involved in an event that you facilitate or help to organise. It is a good way to get out of your comfort zone, to share your knowledge and practices and to meet other people with similar interests and commitment. Also by joining a forum and actively participating to the sessions you can enhance the work you carry out in your organisation.
- Keep focus and keep on track
They are so many opportunities to learn that you have to stay focused. Every year I contact key business partners to find out the hot topics out there and what people (in HR and businesses in general) are focusing on for the next twelve months, I then combine this information with the global requirements of the business I am part of as well as my own objectives. This helps me to have a focus and a plan. I find it an effective way to think about what I need to learn and develop to remain relevant and effective (HRIS, Analytics, Change management etc.).
- Reflect and learn
Whatever works for you, find a way to record your learning (learning book note, app with note keeping function, spreadsheet….) and spend time reviewing your learning and reflect on how you have put it into practice. The more you learn and reflect the more you will develop a learning mind-set and it might even become a habit for you to build CPD activities as part of your customary planning.
Always remember that you learn something every day if you pay real attention, so enjoy and keep developing.
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