Professional Development and CollaborationIt doesn’t matter what industry you are in, providing professional development helps to make your employees more effective at achieving your vision and your goals.


Here are a few tips on planning,  developing and providing EFFECTIVE professional development.

Planning Effective Professional Development
1. Identify your needs
Gather information on the top, what data is provided to support the need for professional development and what can the PD hone in on?  What data do you need, are there surveys? web analytics? feedback? Are you in education grades? test results? observational data?

2.  Develop an Organizational Plan
Any professional environment that lacks a Professional Development Plan runs the risk of not having a focused intention for their employees.  Plans should be simple yet comprehensive, be connected to organizational goals, and measurable.

3.  Logistically Plan
Professional Development should include on-site, off-site, and online activities, annually days should be set aside for site-specific professional development  –  Consider how many events you can offer / handle to encourage participation and buy-in from your employees.

4.  Prepare employees
Prepare staff for the event through communication to help build momentum.  Be sure to communicate to staff the content of the Professional development, ask them to write questions that they hope to get answered during the training.  Identify if there is any prep work that individuals should do before they come (example: reading an article).

5.  Prepare the workshop presenter
Provide the workshop provider backstory on the culture of your organization, detail your expectations, and report on activities that employees have undertaken to support the training.  Share any questions that were collected. Identify any needs that the presenter may need to ensure they are successful (ex:  technology/space/arrangements). Ask probing questions to get a better understanding of how your presenter plans to work with your people. Are they going to lecture them (A one man/woman show better be good!) or are they going to engage and collaborate with them?

6.  Take care of participant comfort
Make sure the meeting room is physically comfortable and arranged appropriately, do people know when the breaks are, and where to find personal essentials such as a bathroom.

7.  Evaluate the event
Provide participants feedback sheets to rate various aspects of the workshop.  They should also have an opportunity to answer open-ended questions expressing their views of what they liked and did not like about the workshop, what they will do as a result of the training, and the types of follow-up activities they would like to receive.

8.  Plan follow-up activities and resources
Emphasize the importance of an event by featuring the concepts regularly in staff meetings.  Observe in professional environment’s and recognize to staff when new learning is applied.

9.  Arrange for follow-up training
Using informal and formal data identify follow-up training, take advanatage of internal professionals applying key concepts.

10.  Build the capacity of staff to train others
Staff who embrace a new approach and implement it quickly and successfully are logical candidates to train others, identify ways that these individuals can be a part of the ongoing learning.