Overview: In today's work environment, an employee holds primary responsibility for his or her career path, including seeking out professional development opportunities. HR professionals are often called upon to provide guidance to employees on career and/or professional development. So much so that, all too often, they might find themselves neglecting their own professional development needs.
Professional development is important for all HR professionals, regardless of their experience level. Some benefits associated with ongoing professional development include: (i) an opportunity to increase knowledge, skills and competency levels; (ii) keeping current with changes in employment law and HR best practices; (iii) staying abreast of new HR technology; and (iv) an opportunity to expand professional networks. Professional development may also result in personal growth and career advancement.
There are a number of ways HR professionals can ensure their ongoing growth. Examples of development opportunities available to HR professionals include membership in professional organizations such as WorldatWork or the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); obtaining professional certifications such as Certified Compensation Professional (CCP), Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) or Professional or Senior Professional in Human Resources certification (PHR or SPHR); continuing education to keep current with HR changes and trends; college courses for undergraduate and graduate degree programs; Department of Labor and law firm labor and employment blogs and alerts; mentoring by a more experienced HR professional; and networking opportunities.
Author: Tracy Morley, SPHR, Legal Editor
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Updated to add certifications and provide information on revised eligibility and testing requirements.
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Employers seeking to advise employees of a service-awards program demonstrating that the company appreciates and encourages employee loyalty should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.