Professional Development Programme: Join, Learn, Succeed

Image: Professional Development Programme in action
By Gary Jensen on

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. – Pele


Not only was Pele arguably the world’s greatest footballer but he also had some wise words, which are entirely applicable to Silversands.  We have been providing consultancy services to our customers for over thirty years and maintain a reputation for quality and excellence.  Key enablers of this are the experience, knowledge and skills of our staff. Our staff constantly strive to provide our customers with a service that we can be proud of.

Maintaining high standards over many years is not easy and there have been technological, social and economic changes to accommodate.  Recently, we have become particularly interested in enhancing our approach to professional development. This is especially relevant when considering how the different generations like to work, learn and progress their careers.

Our Professional Development Programme

To this end, we have created a Professional Development Programme (PDP). This provides our staff with training, guidance, goals and targets to help ensure that our service quality is maintained. More specifically, this programme will:

  • Formalise the process of professional development, tailored to each individual
  • Enable our staff to understand what elements of training and exams they need to complete to transition through our various job roles.
  • Standardise our delivery of professional development
  • Enable our managers to track where their staff are in the process.

Ultimately, for our staff, it will:

  • Identify a clear roadmap for personal improvement and career development
  • Support their ambitions to enhance their knowledge and gain relevant experience, both technical and soft skills.

Technical and Professional Skills

The first phase of the Professional Development Programme has been developed around the Professional Services team, providing technical consultancy, and encompasses both technical and professional skills.

For the technical side, we identify which skills are required based on the role that the employee is performing, their existing skills and experience. We then create a programme of training that will take them to the requisite level of knowledge required for them to deliver the projects or services appropriate to that role.

For the professional skills, we identify the areas of capability that will be needed, such as running customer meetings, writing pre-sales documents, delivering technical workshops and so on, and shape the training programme accordingly.

How are we doing this?

This programme of technical and professional development is realised using methods including self-learning, online training and group knowledge transfer.  In addition to this, we have peer mentoring, with each staff member in the programme assigned one or more mentors, specifically charged with guiding, assisting and sharing knowledge.  As part of the mentoring, the employee will both shadow and be shadowed on various types of customer interaction and service deliveries.

Although the programme has been conceived around the need to develop our professional services people, we also intend to extend it across the whole company to cover all our roles, including sales, operations, marketing and others.

What are the benefits of implementing a PDP?

This Professional Development Programme represents a significant investment for Silversands but we believe the benefits will be worth it:

  • Transfer of knowledge and skills from our experienced staff
  • Demonstration of a clear path to technical and professional excellence
  • Clarity of requirements for employees to progress through our roles
  • Traceability of our employees’ progression
  • Continuation of our historically good staff retention
  • Protection of our industry reputation
  • Enhancement of our already-excellent service to our customers.

From our employees’ point of view, they will:

  • Have a structured plan to help them gain the requisite skills relevant to their role
  • Be supported through peer mentoring and real-world shadowing
  • Understand what their goals and targets are to progress their career in Silversands
  • Gain important skills, knowledge & experience that will benefit them into the future.

What do our latest starters think of our programme?

We have recently enrolled our latest starters on this programme and the feedback has been excellent, with all of them stating that it is above and beyond anything that they have had at their previous companies.

‘The Professional Development Programme at Silversands has been a fantastic experience for me so far. To be a part of a company that, from the very beginning of my time here, has demonstrably shown its commitment to developing my skills has already made me feel a valued member of the team’. – Clarissa

Silversands’ tailored approach to learning and development has demonstrated to me that the company understands the value of my previous experience, as well as having a long-term vision for me in the company.  – Pete

  • Are you concerned about your career development path in your current company?
  • Would you like to feel like Clarissa and Pete do?
  • Would you like to work for a company that is invested in making you the best you can be?

If the answer to the above questions is ‘yes’, you may find one of our current opportunities interesting.

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