You have your education, an occupation that you love, and you are doing well. Sure, you could say that it’s mission accomplished. But what happens when the years start to stack up and you can no longer compete with those entering the workforce? Continuing professional development (CPD) is an ongoing process, and it never stops. If you want to keep yourself and your employees relevant, you need to not only offer professional development, you need to promote it and make it doable.

Since promoting professional development can be a time consuming process if you don’t know where to start, here are some tips to get you started with developing a CPD program for you and your employees.

Although there is always several subjects that professionals want to work on at once, people in education and marketing will tell you how important segmenting individuals into groups can be when creating a professional development course for your business. Think about the people working for you. Note their specialties, their education, mannerisms, interests, and goals. Once you can divide the staff up into groups, you can then better assess their needs.

A needs assessment can also help you figure out which professional development to offer. Consider conducting the needs assessment through email and use the “what’s in it for me” angle. Let your staff know that you are concerned about their education and advancement. Get them excited.

Develop a Plan
From there, you can start setting some SMART goals. If you haven’t heard of SMART before, it stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Based objectives. Some ideal goals include learning how to implement Microsoft Project, increasing customer satisfaction through better customer service, productivity and efficacy, and so on. You can then focus on more specific measures of success, such as enhancing active listening over a set period of time or increasing the amount of customer reviews you receive.

Also consider your priorities. When is it a good time to conduct this training? Do you want online courses or in-office seminars? Do you want a major event or a toned down approach? Consider your workflow and upcoming projects.

Implement The Plan
Now that you have developed some SMART goals, created a timeline, measured the needs of your staff and yourself, you can then start promoting the professional development course in your business. Show eagerness to promote a better environment, employee advancement and personal growth, and so on. You can market these courses as a means of promotion or provide other incentives, as well. Introduce the providers of the training through media, presentations, social media, and more. 

Remember, this is a chance to get people excited for what their work is getting them. Use the plan for professional development to boost morale.

Collect Data For Guidance
Once you have held a single session of professional development, don’t forget to encourage feedback. What did the group like and dislike? Did they learn something? Do they think that they will be able to use the skills they learned in the future? What would they do differently? As you gather these metrics, you will be able to refashion the professional development to better fit the separate groups within the workplace and make every single offering fulfilling and satisfying.

Since professional development is a cost-effective invest in your business and your employments, you shouldn’t overlook it. However, not every employee is going to be initially excited about received additional training for something they already do. By making professional development look like a tremendous opportunity for growth and development, you can excite your employees and get the most bang for your buck.