Long blogs | 10 MIN READ TIME

Why continuing Professional Development is key to business success


According to the Office for National Statistics there were more than 1.1m vacancies in the UK job market in the first quarter of 2023, giving jobseekers the upper hand over employers.

This Learning at Work week, we’re looking at the role continuing personal development (CPD) can play in helping employers redress the balance.

There are now around 2.5m people in Britain classed as ‘economically inactive’ – up 600,000 since the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020. These are people of working age who, for a variety of reasons, have left the labour market.

For employers this means that recruiting new employees, and retaining the ones they have, is as challenging now as it has ever been. It is simply critical to business continuity, productivity and to the bottom line.

So what do organisations need to do to keep hold of the talented people that are vital to growth and profitability? The most obvious answer is to pay a decent wage. That is as true now as it has always been, particularly in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

However, simply throwing money at a problem is only the start. Today, people want more from their jobs than just a good salary. They want to learn and grow and feel valued.

They want to make a real contribution, to feel encouraged to learn new skills and make full use of the ones they have. Younger workers, in particular, are increasingly looking at the values of the organisations they work for. Do businesses have strong and clear policies on diversity and inclusion – and are these being put into practice and is everyone up to speed?

At the heart of this is CPD, which focuses on the importance of knowledge and skills enhancement. It ensures that employees stay up-to-date with the latest developments, trends and best practices in their industry and also ensures that their knowledge, and your workplace culture, continues to grow.

CPD provides the fuel for career progression. It allows people to learn about new technology and research and equips people with greater confidence to work under their own initiative.

Employees who actively engage in CPD demonstrate their commitment to professional and personal growth and open up paths to promotion. It can foster self-confidence and an overall sense of achievement.

Of course, there is a flip side to CPD. By enhancing the skills, knowledge and confidence of your team members you are making them more attractive to other employers. This is why it is essential that progress is incentivised, acknowledged and leads to rewards.

There is a myriad of management consultancies out there who offer off-the-peg CPD and staff training programmes.

But no one knows a business like the people within it. A technology-driven CPD programme, devised in-house, is a much more powerful training tool. Corporate engagement specialist Love2shop can assist employers to do just that.

Via its Love2shop Engagement Platform (AEP), businesses can create their own comprehensive and easy to use CPD training programme, including video and images, with modules and points allocated for completion and certificates issued.

AEP allows employers to conduct surveys to gain feedback and improve training modules, so they constantly evolve according to the demands of the business and the workforce.

At the heart of the AEP is the capacity to capture data to keep each employee’s records updated and trigger those all-important reward actions. This is delivered through the latest digital technology.

This is important because for CPD to be effective it has to be measurable. Replacing mountains of paperwork with easy to access data makes annual or quarterly assessments a much smoother process.

The platform is automated and seamless and can be accessed using multiple devices both on and off site.

Administrators enjoy a bird’s eye view of the ways in which staff engage with training and assess feedback to improve the training provision on offer.

Such a system has the flexibility to respond to different types of training, from refresher courses in behaviour and people management to role-specific knowledge and skills development.

By providing training that employees see as relevant to their role and that delivers real opportunities to grow in their chosen field, managers and budget-holders can improve talent retention and employee loyalty.

Love2shop doesn’t just offer you the tools to improve your in-house training programmes, as one of the most powerful gifting brands in the UK it allows you to reward employees who fully engage.

Available as a physical voucher, gift card, email or smartphone voucher, Love2shop is accepted by more than 140 retailers.

These include well-known brands such as Marks & Spencer, Wilko, Iceland, Matalan, Argos, Costa, Harvester, Tui and Jet2Holidays and many, many more.

In 2022 Love2shop carried out a survey of 13,000 people who were asked what they thought made the best rewards. They revealed people love choice and they love gift cards.

Staff motivation through recognition and reward is key to business success. It incentivises people to go that extra mile in their jobs in the knowledge their efforts and achievements will be recorded and acknowledged.

Forward-thinking employers recognise the world has changed and that change is ongoing. Retaining your best talent through CPD is crucial in gaining a competitive edge. Look after your people and they will take the lead in driving your business forward.

Contact us to see how AEP can improve your employee training strategy.