top 10 benefits of professional development opportunities

Professional Development Opportunities

When considering paying for personnel to attend industry conferences & networking events, decision-makers often focus on attendance costs and ‘downtime’. They forget to consider the productivity increases and financial benefits of investing in professional development opportunities (PD events) for their employees.

PD events are best viewed as an ‘uptime’ opportunity because time spent with industry experts and peers positively impacts employee retention, competence (productivity), process improvements, and your bottom line.

Ongoing professional development opportunities can significantly improve a company’s bottom line over time, helping ensure the company’s survival.

The medium-term and long-term financial benefits of sending personnel to industry education events & conferences, including risk-reduction knowledge, will far surpass this month’s budget concerns.

In industries where new technologies, new competitors and new regulations emerge on a daily basis, attending industry PD events is pivotal to the survival of your company and your product lines. It’s also an efficient way to investigate sustainable manufacturing processes, new manufacturing equipment, data integrity/computerised systems, and operational efficiencies.

Here are the Top 10 Ways Professional Development Opportunities Can Boost Your Bottom Line

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Top 10 Benefits of Professional Development (PD)

Investing in professional development opportunities for personnel goes beyond enhancing the competence of your Operations and Quality teams. It keeps your company informed of automation trends, equipment advancements, supply chain issues and inspection trends that could otherwise disrupt your business plans.

  • In today’s ultra-competitive environment, new technologies emerge on a near-daily basis.
  • You can’t afford to “miss out” hearing about a time-saving/cost-saving innovation (or discovering a new manufacturing or packaging method) that has the potential to significantly enhance your operational processes and yields while reducing your carbon footprint.
  • This is especially true if your key competitors are in the process of putting these innovations into practice.

(2) Profitability improvements

  • Keeping pharmaceutical and medical device personnel up-to-speed with industry trends and manufacturing innovations aids profitability and sustainability.
  • Understanding recent advances in pharmaceutical manufacturing processes, equipment, and cleanroom products can help your company eliminate deviations, reduce material wastage and operating costs, and increase yields.
  • Example: At the GMP Forum: Pharma & Device Forum, you can explore advanced technologies and new systems, and ask questions directly to over 23 key industry suppliers, all during a single event.

Find out which key pharmaceutical and medical device industry suppliers are sponsoring the 2024 Pharma & Device Forum (GMP Forum). Don’t miss out!

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(3) Reduced employee turnover

Investing in professional development opportunities for your employees can reduce attrition rates of Quality Managers, Scientists, Operations Teams, and Validation Engineers.

  • The financial and operational costs of losing a key employee are exorbitant
  • The hidden costs of employee turnover include the costs of additional attrition (the loss of overworked or fatigued employees who were compensating for the missing employee, and the impact of personnel shortages on the company’s culture, productivity, regulatory compliance and product quality).

Not to mention the shortage of experienced Quality Management, Sterile Manufacturing and Validation Specialists in Australia and around the globe.

By valuing your personnel, and investing in industry PD events that benefit your bottom line AND their professional development, you can avoid the high costs of losing a key employee, disrupting operations and team morale, and requiring you to embark on painful and expensive recruitment processes and interviews,

(4) Regulatory Compliance Culture (Resources)

Investing in Professional Development for GMP personnel and Medical Device Quality Managers can also reduce your risks of an inspection failure/audit finding, batch failure, product malfunction, or product recall.

  • Professional development opportunities & education events help personnel better understand their regulatory compliance responsibilities and leave them feeling “invested in” and seen as valued members of your team, reducing employee turnover rates.
  • PD education also helps reduce product quality risks and GMP audit/site inspection findings.

Sending personnel to external training sessions, industry conferences, and networking events benefits both the individual and the company. What better way to enhance regulatory compliance and establish a positive working culture than investing in training and professional development events for personnel?

The cost of sending personnel to an educational session or conference is minimal compared to the costs of an inspection finding (citation), losing an experienced GMP employee, or purchasing outdated equipment just because you didn’t know there was a better product on the market.

By valuing your personnel, and investing in industry PD events that benefit your bottom line AND their professional development, you can avoid the high costs of losing a key employee, disrupting operations and team morale, and requiring you to embark on painful and expensive recruitment processes and interviews. You’ll also know what the latest money-saving technologies are when visiting with event Sponsors (key suppliers in the sector).

professional development opportunities

(5) Enhanced reputation & ‘brain trust’ networking

  • CEOs and Directors of companies would also be wise to prioritise attending and presenting (speaking) at important industry events
  • Professional development opportunities attended by Senior Management, CEOs and Directors:
    • Demonstrate their support for the industries in which they operate
    • Helps advance the sector
    • Encourages groundbreaking collaborations
    • Expands their network of colleagues they can contact with complex manufacturing questions or equipment decisions

(6) Encourages innovative thinking, reduces stagnation

  • Learning experiences are crucial for encouraging continual improvements and innovative thinking
  • Professional development opportunities for Senior Management also expose team leaders to new ideas, new people, and innovative thinking
  • This can re-motivate ‘burnt-out’ Managers and other personnel and ignite new business ideas and operational plans

(7) Rewarding reprieve from day-to-day stressors

  • Some roles are very taxing and repetitive
  • Attending learning sessions and industry events can reduce role boredom
  • Company-funded industry event attendance is viewed by most personnel as a ‘reward’ for their dedication and hard work

GMP Forum (Pharma Device Forum) attendees often say they feel “reinspired” and “more enthusiastic” about their industry, their companies and colleagues, and their role responsibilities after attending these events.

professional development opportunities for competence

Given the exorbitant costs (financially and operationally) of losing a key employee to another company (or worse yet for the industry, to another sector entirely), investing in an employee’s professional development makes business sense.

Decision-makers often overlook the benefits of providing employee professional development opportunities (PD events). Attending industry education events and networking sessions can ultimately save the company significant money through inspiring cost-saving initiatives, operational improvement ideas, and a better understanding of both quality control and regulatory compliance requirements.

A regulatory compliance culture is essential for ensuring supplies of safe, effective medicinal products and patient safety.

Your training and development records need to be up-to-date. Professional development opportunities provided to personnel must be appropriate to the individual’s role and responsibilities as well as your product lines & distribution channels.

  • Regulators understand that training and development are crucial for establishing a GMP-compliant culture
  • Failing to invest in adequate training and professional development for personnel is often cited during inspections by Regulatory Authorities/GMP Auditors
  • Your training records/personnel files need to be up-to-date and to demonstrate that Management priorities training & professional development of its key employees and operations personnel

(9) Business Planning & Investment Purposes

Knowledge may be power, but knowledge is also an imperative requirement for planning, especially in the life science sectors of Medical Device & Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, quality control, packaging, and distribution.

Keeping up-to-date is necessary due to:

  1. Rapid changes in the industry including manufacturing equipment, packaging and labelling, and data management technologies
  2. Higher risks of data integrity losses and legal breaches/fines in terms of expanding cybersecurity threats and the use of larger data sets/more complex computerised systems
  3. Growing socio-economical, environmental, and manufacturing sustainability pressure (e.g. reduction in plastics; paper-based recordkeeping systems being replaced by digital systems that require extensive cybersecurity measures/adequate data governance).

(10) Sense of purpose for personnel – plus, it’s fun!

  • Some roles in the life science sector are ‘more gruel’ than ‘rewarding’
  • Some life science sector job roles are also inherently ‘isolating’
  • By funding professional development opportunities for personnel, Management can enhance their teams’ sense of purpose
  • PD events often reinforce a person’s commitment to their company’s mission and product development/distribution efforts (e.g., saving lives or improving Health Quality of Life by developing and manufacturing medicines and medical devices)
  • It also offers them the chance to network with peers to learn, to feel like they ‘belong’ to a bigger community…and to have a bit of fun while learning
top 10 benefits of professional development opportunities

Conclusion

Business decision-makers may sometimes overlook the benefits of providing employees with ongoing professional development opportunities (PD events). Instead, they focus only on the conference attendance costs or ‘offsite’ learning time. This perception needs to be flipped to the upside of funding personnel to attend ongoing PD events, e.g., personnel development benefits, process improvement opportunities, gaining crucial industry knowledge and new alliances with others in the broader science community, and other mutually beneficial company-employee gains.

These are indeed valuable gains that attendees can achieve from participating in professional development opportunities & other educational events:

Overall, attending PD events can significantly contribute to the professional growth and development of personnel, while also benefiting their organizations in terms of innovation and competitiveness.

For life-science industry professionals in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors in Australia or New Zealand, the Pharma & Device Forum (GMP Forum) is an affordable, industry-sponsored educational event with 5 learning tracks and 70 speakers. Learn more.

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Resources: Turnover Statistics

Given the exorbitant costs (financially and operationally) of losing a key employee, do you know how many people change jobs in a given year?

Across all industries, roughly 10% change jobs in a given year. There are, however, some variations amongst age groups and job regions.

In stressful industries with personnel shortages, it is a far higher percentage.

  • Up to 38% of personnel are motivated by a salary increase (rising interest rates won’t help)! January and February are key times that employees look for new opportunities.
  • The cost of replacing an employee is more expensive than most companies estimate; especially considering that — for most life science jobs – it can take 3 to 5 years to become proficient in a new role.
  • Investing in professional development activities, educational sessions, and salary incentives becomes a minor expense compared to the ACTUAL costs of losing a key employee (or several).
  • Remaining personnel are often tasked with filling in for the lost employee (reducing productivity or putting production line schedules at risk) and increasing the risk of additional attrition.

Prioritising and helping to fund personnel to undertake professional development opportunities makes perfect business sense.

Why? As stated above, decision-makers often overlook the benefits of providing employee professional development opportunities (PD events). Attending industry education events and networking sessions can ultimately save the company significant money through inspiring cost-saving initiatives, operational improvement ideas, and a better understanding of both quality control and regulatory compliance requirements.