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4 Min Read

Prioritizing Professional Development for HR Leaders

Nicole Klemp

Professional development is essential to the personal and professional well-being of today’s human resources leaders. And yet, far too many of them are out there right now spending countless hours advocating for more professional development in their organizations—while not getting access to those growth opportunities themselves. 

It goes without saying that the HR leaders of today (and tomorrow) need the necessary people skills and industry knowledge to be effective. But with the rapid cultural, technological, and economic changes we’ve seen over the last few years, the HR function has become much more complex. The skills HR professionals need just to keep up with the daily demands of their job continue to evolve and expand. 

In this article, we’ll explore why professional development for HR is so critical, and discuss ways current and future HR leaders can connect with learning and coaching opportunities outside of their organizations.

Benefits of HR professional development

HR professionals are busy people, so finding the time to invest in your own growth and development can be hard. Making time for self-care is especially tough when you’re used to putting everyone else’s needs before your own, which many people who choose HR as a profession (primarily women) are guilty of.

If this sounds like you, try to remember the many personal benefits of prioritizing professional development:

  • Become more visible in your organization
  • Build your confidence as a leader
  • Earn a promotion or raise
  • Increase your future earning potential

In addition to the many ways professional development benefits your HR career path, it can also help you better serve the needs of your organization. It’s in every company’s best interest to invest in their HR team’s growth and development so they can use those skills and learnings to help build more engaged, high-performing teams.

Set up new HR leaders for success

As more organizations embrace people-centric cultures, the HR leader position will remain critical. In fact, the HR field is expected to feature even more prominently in the future of work, as the HR manager position is predicted to grow by 7% through 2031

Many of those new management positions will be filled by young professionals moving up in their careers from an HR specialist or associate position. Setting up future HR directors and CHROs with the necessary training and mentoring is critical to their success. It allows them to gain confidence and credibility as strategic HR practitioners and company leaders.

Keep up on the latest in an ever-evolving industry 

From compensation strategies to regulatory compliance (and everything in between), there is much for HR professionals to learn—and it’s constantly changing. Just like healthcare professionals must continue learning about new procedures and drug therapies, HR professionals need to be familiar with the latest advancements in their own field. Staying current on the latest HR processes and technologies can help you scale your efforts and make your job more efficient.

The ability to solve business problems and bring new strategies to an organization makes the HR leader role incredibly valuable. But to deliver this value, you need a deep understanding of the issues that matter most to your people and how to apply the right solutions and technologies to improve the employee experience. 

Whether you’re a team of one or one hundred, taking advantage of career development for HR professionals and engaging with other practitioners can expose you to new ideas and help you gain applicable skills. 

The power of HR networking groups

HR professional development takes a village. When you’re in the people business, you need a community that supports and learns from one another. Connecting with industry peers online or joining an HR professional organization can help you meet like-minded people who care about their work as much as you do.

When dealing with a specific set of challenges in your business, there’s a good chance that your fellow HR leaders at other companies are dealing with some of those same problems. Crowdsource solutions and experience camaraderie with others in the same boat as you. 

As 15Five’s Senior VP of Community, Adam Weber, shared, “Connecting with peers is a powerful way to combat burnout by reminding you that you aren’t alone, sparking ideas to help unblock you, and having someone to lean on when you don’t have much gas in the tank.”

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As a member of our HR Superstars community, you’ll connect with peers and experts, get access to valuable resources, and continue growing to make an impact in your organization. 

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