Professional Development Examples | Human Resource Management (2024)

One of the evaluation criteria listed in the Agreement between SUNY and United University Professions id “Continuing Growth.” Examples of continuing growth include such things as continuing education, participation in professional organizations, enrollment in training programs, research, improved job performance, and increased duties and responsibilities.

The supervisor and employee negotiate the employee’s level of involvement in professional development. Each employee should have at least one activity listed in his/her performance program. Professional development may be geared toward improving an area “in need of improvement” from a previous evaluation or related to an employee’s new responsibilities or future career goals.

Examples of activities that contribute to professional growth and development:

Continuing Education

  • Enrollment in formal degree programs, courses, or workshops
  • Pursuing certificates, accreditations or other credentials through educational programs

Participation in professional organizations

  • Attending local, regional, national, and international meetings, conferences and workshops sponsored by professional organizations
  • Presenting papers at conferences and workshops
  • Serving as an officer, board member, or committee member
  • Coordinating events sponsored by the organization


  • Conducting research
  • Presenting findings of research to others

Improve job performance

  • Keeping up with technology, systems, processes
  • Learning about new developments in your field
  • Improving existing skills

Increased duties and responsibilities

  • Taking on new challenges in current position, projects, long or short-term assignments

Approaches to professional development:

Skill Based Training

  • Effective skill-based training allows participants to learn conceptual information or necessary behaviors, practice learning the new information or behaviors, and receive feedback on their performance.
  • Making the most of a training program: Have a discussion with supervisor regarding reasons for attending, what you hope to get out of it; Post-conference – debrief the experience. Discuss what you have learned at the training session and how you might immediately apply it to your work. Practice skills that you learned.

Job Assignments

  • Learning by doing – by working on real problems and dilemmas
  • May be an entirely new job, a responsibility added to an existing job such as a short-term project
  • The key element in a developmental assignment is challenge, something that stretches people, pushes them out of their comfort zones, and requires them to think and act differently

Developmental Relationships

  • Learning through interaction with others. Three major roles that a person can play include: (1) assessment (feedback provider, sounding board, point of comparison, feedback interpreter), (2) challenge (dialogue partner, assignment broker, role model), (3) support (counselor, cheerleader, reinforcer, cohort).

3 Critical Components of an Effective Professional Development Plan:

There is an established standard of success to describe what an individual who is successful looks like. There is a means of assessing where the individual is against this standard and continual assessment of progress that has been made. What are the standards against which you assess performance and what measures will you use to assess the individual against these standards?

It must be something that stretches people, pushes them out of their comfort zones, and requires them to think and act differently.

We tend to think only of monetary support, but what are the environmental support mechanisms. Who will provide guidance, feedback, and assistance as the individual tries out new skills, or takes on responsibilities that are beyond the scope of their current skill level? Is there a tolerance for risk taking and some failure?

Professional Development Examples | Human Resource Management (2024)
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