Learning & Development for the EA, PA and Administrative Professional: The Facts, The Dilemmas and The Solutions. Part 1

Part 1: The Facts and Dilemmas, by Lindsay Taylor

The Facts
According to The Institute of Administrative Management (IAM) one of the longest-standing professional bodies for business and administrative managers in the UK, “the value of CPD (Continuous Professional Development) in today’s work environment is fundamental to excellence and success: it is essential to your continued effectiveness and development.”1
It is widely acknowledged that CPD has vast benefit and value.  The CPD Standards claims “the benefits can be seen from two perspectives – that of the employee and that of the employer” 2   

Providing employees with access to the latest learning and best practice to technology, business thinking and strategies allows them to bring this learning back to the workplace to implement, in turn making them – and the Executives and teams they support – more effective and efficient.

Additionally, investing in employee CPD builds loyalty. People want to feel supported in their career progression and CPD helps employers ensure their staff feel more engaged. Engaged employees are more loyal and more productive.

When a new learner signs up with us to undertake an administrative qualification they are immensely proud to have received “sign off” for their training request.  For some, it’s been an uphill battle to convince their management team of the value-add of completing the training especially if they are going to be offline or out of the office attending the training sessions.  

For others whose organisations more readily support the learning and development needs of their employees, the learner’s pride is focused on being part of an organisation who value their contribution.  These learners are proud to be a part of an organisation that invests in their staff and the resulting loyalty, commitment and engagement from these employees is evident.  

In a recent 2018 Workplace Learning Trends Report issued by LinkedIn 3 it was revealed that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career.

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Richard Branson

The Dilemmas
There is a marked disconnect between employers acknowledging that CPD is both beneficial to the employer and employee and employers putting the physical options and plans in place.

Only last week I found myself frowning at a comment received from a new Level 4 learner who shared:

“I actually feel privileged to work for an organisation who value CPD” It’s fantastic that this learner is working in an organisation who value CPD – but should they feel “privileged”? Shouldn’t it be “a given” that every organisation invests in their staff? Why should we feel “privileged” when our CPD is supported?  Why do EAs, PAs and Administrative staff have to go out of their way to convince their organisations to sign off their training requests and to invest in their CPD?   What are the barriers?  And what will empower employers to make active suggestions of learning and development, rather than approving a CPD opportunity someone has brought to them and spent valuable time researching?

To continue reading this blog post and see the solutions, please click here!

Bibliography and Further Reading

1   http://www.instam.org/pdf/membership/cpd/IAM_CPD_Guidance.pdf
https://www.cpdstandards.com/what-is-cpd/what-are-the-benefits-of-cpd/
https://learning.linkedin.com/resources/workplace-learning-report-2018

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