Employee training and development is easy to overlook in busy periods. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major disrupter to business as usual for general practices and allied health businesses, with continuous changes in daily routines, fluctuating revenue and ongoing business uncertainty.
During challenging times it can be tempting to postpone or cancel staff development, however the benefits are needed now more than ever. Professional development can contribute to the resilience of health businesses.
Investment in professional development of both the clinical and non-clinical staff can yield many benefits:
- Workforce retention – providing all team members with access to quality education
- Workforce engagement – facilitating professional and personal growth
- Succession planning – building skills across the team to insulate the business from loss of key personnel
- Quality improvement – of both clinical care and practice processes
While it can be tempting to encourage staff to access professional development and training from the plethora of free sources available, there are disadvantages of this approach:
- Time consuming – it is near impossible to track the learning undertaken by each member of the team
- Lack of records – a challenge for practice managers and owners who want to access these records as part of accreditation preparations or for performance development discussions
- Funders objectives – free education is rarely independent, and a funders objective to influence or build their market can take precedence over good design of quality education
To address these challenges, North Coast General Practice Training has established Cape Institute – a not for profit education organisation. Cape Institute is a unique new offering in the CPD landscape. Education is independent, with a program of courses for both clinicians and practice teams. Independence also has the benefit of being able to respond to the needs and interests of participants – rather than focusing on key government priorities. Experienced educators lead the design of all courses which are delivered via live, interactive webinars. Complementing the education program is a simplified tracking of staff development, providing efficiency and transparency for practice owners and managers.
Delaying professional development and training until after COVID-19 restrictions might seem a good option right now, however it is risky. With no end in sight to the pandemic and new models of CPD available, general practice and allied health businesses can readily incorporate a professional development strategy that is convenient and affordable, to build employee engagement and ultimately their business resilience during what is, without a doubt, a challenging time for all professions.
Find out how you can become a Cape Institute subscriber and access ongoing CPD education for your whole team, in one place. Enrol in one of our courses below:
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