What is Professional Development?

Definition: Professional development is a set of training programs and activities implemented to improve the skills and knowledge of an organization’s staff. This process aims to increase the individual’s capabilities in order to enlarge his productive potential.

What Does Professional Development Mean?

A company’s workforce is an essential part of the business. If employees are properly trained they should be more able to produce satisfactory results. This is the reason why professional development is so important for business development strategies.

The process is usually an ongoing one, since the ever-changing dynamics of the market constantly demand that company’s keep its knowledge base properly updated. Some companies do this through a career path kind of approach, where the employee’s capabilities are assessed in order to establish a road that might lead him to a certain point within the organizational structure. In order to achieve this goal, the person has to submit himself to an ongoing training process that involves academic studies, field work, rotations between different job positions and other strategies that will prepare the person to assume further responsibilities in the business.

On the other hand, the employee is allowed to change course as long as he is committed to walk the professional development path that the company sets up for him.

Example

Green Solutions Co. is a company that designs projects for sustainable energy sources such as wind mills and solar panels. The company recently hired an engineer from Bangladesh who excelled in his university, earning a Master in Sustainable Energy Sources. The name of this professional is Markesh. The Human Resources Department, after conducting an interview and a few assessments, established a career path for Markesh.

He will start as a Project Specialist, where he will assist a Project Manager in many different tasks and along the way he will learn many practical tips about the manager’s job. This path might lead to a Senior position such as a Vice-Presidency or a C-level position, depending on how well Markesh performs and how committed he is to take the trainings the company has set up for him.