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When researching information on professional development trends within administration and management, I discovered an excellent publication by CIPD (www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/strategy/development/surveys), which is the professional body for HR and people development. This publication covers in detail recent trends in learning and development, as well as predicting likely changes in the future. CIPD is a well-recognised professional body, and it has clearly conducted in depth research into learning and development trends, providing numerous statistics in support of its article.
For example, it indicates that on-the job training is both the most used and the most effective methods of training, whilst the effectiveness of e-learning is considerably lower than it’s prevalence of use. This may be because organisations are still finding their feet with using technology as an effective training tool, and potentially the learning styles used in e-learning might not entirely suit the preferences of all learners and it is not necessarily feasible to tailor the learning to each individual.
Research of this level of detail by an expert in the field indicates that this is an extremely reliable source of trend analysis.
I also came across a plethora of websites discussing professional development trends, such as https://insights.learnlight.com/en/articles/10-must-know-learning-trends-2018/ and https://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/hub/learning-and-development-trends/ . Whilst these articles make interesting reads and clearly make some valid points which are substantiated by the CIPD report above, they are not professional bodies/well recognised journals, which tend to be the most reliable sources of information.
The articles lack a certain degree of evident research and statistics to support their information, and therefore I would be reluctant to rely solely on these sources of information when making decisions regarding professional development.
In the current world we live in, we are using technology more and more in our day to day lives, including in the workplace. For example, in the NHS, prescribing has moved to an electronic system and the aim is for all patient notes to be in electronic form in the future. Notably, social media is also being used more frequently in businesses for the purposes of sharing information, advertising and networking, and there is a continuing increase in ‘mobile’ working, where it is essential for individuals to be able to communicate and interact via technology. All of these developments have created a need for further professional development so that individuals are equipped to use these systems effectively and efficiently. These changes are significantly relevant to those working in administration, as detailed in the following article https://www.nexxt.com/articles/tech-trends-impacting-administrative-assistants-14944-article.html
As well as the advances in technology, the job market is becoming increasingly competitive and employers are looking for more in terms of qualifications and skills when recruiting for positions. This scenario highlighted that I would need to do further training if I wished to progress my career, as I discovered that to gain a promotion within the admin sector of the NHS I would need a management qualification, and this had not necessarily previously been the case when I began my career with the NHS in 2008.
Personal and professional development is continuous and ever evolving, and it is vital requirement to progressing one’s career.
I have been working in my department as an administrator for nine years, and at my last appraisal my manager and I reflected on the requirements of my role; aspects that we feel I do well and aspects that we believe require enhancement. It was evident that I have reached a plateau in my career and to progress any further I would need to undertake a further qualification, with the aim to move into a management role once completed. This aspect of professional development is particularly relevant to my role as based upon my skills and experience I act as deputy administration manager in my line manager’s absence. This scenario did arise recently when my line manager unexpectedly had a sustained period of leave. Whilst I feel that I performed the role to the best of my ability under the circumstances, it is clearly evident that the knowledge and skills that can be gained from completing a management course will be instrumental in developing and underpinning my practice as a manager in the future.
In terms of personal development, I frequently look at colleagues who are more senior to myself and reflect upon what skills I will need to develop in order to potentially be successful in that role or a similar role in the future. The personal skills I have identified as requiring enhancement to become a successful manager are assertiveness, diplomacy and confidence. I have discussed these elements with my line manager and I have self-evaluated by reflecting on the positive and negative aspects of particular incidents, and I have considered ways of improving the negatives if the incident were to occur again. There are many courses and training sessions provided by the NHS to develop such skills, and attending these will support my learning and development as I progress through the management course.
As an employee of the NHS, I am required to maintain compliance with the Trust’s mandatory training courses. Examples of these courses include Fire Safety, Equality and Diversity, Information Governance, Infection Control, Safeguarding and are essential to ensuring that we maintain the crucial skills required to work safely and effectively in an NHS organisation. If I progress into a management role in the future, there will be additional mandatory training course which I will then be required to complete to be an effective manager of a team. These additional courses include Deprivation of Liberty, PREVENT, Mental Capacity Act and higher levels of safeguarding training.
The job and environment in which I work is consistently evolving, and it is important that I keep abreast of these changes and assess whether I will need to acquire new skills/enhance existing skills in order to effectively manage these changes in the future. An example of an imminent change in my department is that the intake of medical students is going to substantially rise in 2019, which will have a significant impact on the timetabling of teaching and clinical placements at the hospital (e.g. teaching space, tutor numbers, resources). This change will require a high level of operational planning, which I am aware is a skill I have not fully developed yet but will be essential in order to move into a management position in the future. The increase in student numbers is an ideal opportunity for me to develop these skills, and my manager is keen that I become involved in the planning stages to gain this experience in operational planning.
The benefits of personal and professional development are two-fold; benefits to the individual and benefits to organisation the individual works for.
There are numerous benefits of personal and professional development for the individual. It allows an individual to fulfil their role to a higher standard, gaining greater job satisfaction in the knowledge that they are a valued and integral member of the team. As individuals learn about themselves and their own development, it allows them to identify their values, beliefs and goals, and therefore allows them to make informed decisions about their future. It can improve the confidence of individuals in their work and build credibility as they gain new skills, perspectives and qualifications, which can then lead to changes in the way they approach their work in the future. Gaining/improving skills and qualifications provides individuals with more scope to progress their career in the future e.g. achieving a promotion. Showing commitment to personal development demonstrates dedication and the ability to learn and grow, which are factors that employers may consider when awarding promotions or considering job applications.
As with the individual benefits, there are also numerous benefits for an organisation. Having highly skilled employees increases productivity, efficiency, motivation and revenue. By having a personal and professional development programme, organisations can develop, shape and retain talented employees, which in turn can make an organisation more attractive to prospective employees (e.g. if they are able to see that there is the possibility of a long career within the organisation).
As employees develop and broaden their skills and knowledge, they may be able to bring new ideas and perspectives to the workplace, which could then improve service delivery. Many organisations are frequently experiencing changes, especially in the ever changing economic climate, and continued development skills will better equip individuals to predict and manage these changes confidently as and when they arise.
When an organisation demonstrates a vested interest in its employee’s personal and professional development, morale and motivation are greatly improved and this is reflected by a higher level of productivity, quality teamwork, lower levels of sickness absence, and a lower turn-over rate of staff.
There are many factors to consider when selecting types of development actions.
The delivery method of the development activities should be considered; whether they are appropriate for the individual(s) undertaking the development and whether the methods are time/cost effective for the organisation delivering/facilitating the development training. There are many different delivery methods, some examples of which are:
When considering whether the delivery method is suitable for the individual(s), it is important to establish what the learning outcomes of the training are so that the best method (with the best outcomes) can be selected. It is also vital to consider the learning style of the individual(s).
Preferences of learning tend to be grouped into three styles; Visual (seen or observed training e.g. diagrams, demonstrations, pictures), Auditory (listening to spoken explanations) and Kinaesthetic (learning through practical experience).
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