The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Develop to Retain: Tools and Resources for Higher Ed Professional Development

It’s Employee Learning Week — a great reminder for employers to showcase their commitment to talent development by highlighting development opportunities available to employees. Whether you’re an HR practitioner in search of professional development ideas for yourself and your HR peers, or you’re looking for ideas to engage and develop other employees at your institution, here are several tools, tips and resources to help you take the next step.

Professional Development Tools for the HR Pro

  • CUPA-HR Learning Framework — A tool that assists in defining HR practitioners’ knowledge, skills and attributes and then helps create an action plan for growth and set developmental goals. Jump start your development by using the quick start guide, then build your skills further by diving deeper into the framework competencies.
  • Creating Your Individual Development Plan — A must-have for anyone who wants to map out a strategy for career success in higher ed HR. This free CUPA-HR e-learning course provides an introduction to individual development plans (IDPs) and will guide you through the process of creating your plan, discussing your career with your leaders and implementing your strategy for success. CUPA-HR e-Learning is sponsored by PageUp.

Ideas for the Higher Ed Community

Apart from their own professional development, HR pros often create and help facilitate professional development opportunities for employees at their institutions. Here are some jump-start ideas from the article Optimize Your Hybrid or Remote Work Workforce — Considerations for Higher Ed HR Leaders, featured in the fall issue of Higher Ed HR Magazine.

  • Encourage managers to use an employee’s development plan to guide regular coaching calls. Gallup suggests ongoing coaching conversations — rather than annual performance reviews — can be of great benefit to both the employee and the employer. These meaningful conversations highlight the organization’s commitment to employee engagement, which can help retain employees for the long-haul. Encourage managers to use employees’ development plans during coaching calls as a guide to the conversation. Setting up the right systems and processes to help employees perform their best from any location is a great operational step, but reorienting managers to think about performance and productivity around outcomes instead is an important strategy.
  • Get creative with your learning and professional development offerings. William Paterson University’s HR team created a university-wide development program so all 600 non-faculty employees had a chance to participate. Their unique approach to talent development demonstrated institutional support for professional development, provided a platform for employees to engage and collaborate, and inspired additional ways to support employees, such as mentorship programs, goal setting and career advancement. Read more about the program in the special awards issue of Higher Ed HR Magazine to learn how the HR team adapted it to a virtual format — a great alternative for employees working in a hybrid or remote setting!


The CUPA-HR office will be closed Fridays through August 19.