January 2, 2019

Tips on making the most out of the DPG Community

This month, I’ll be celebrating my sixth anniversary of being a DPG Community member. When I joined the DPG Community I was a DPG customer and the community itself was just one year old. I’d enrolled on a CIPD Level 5 Learning and Development Programme at the time. I could not have imagined that some years later, I’d be managing the wonderful community that has been such a big part of my development since.

The DPG Community was established as a place to connect Human Resources and Learning & Development professionals; a space to collaborate, share knowledge and support each other to develop. Part of that was about adding value to the qualification journey that people like me were progressing through, but it was never designed to be locked away and exclusive for just those. The DPG Community is still free for all to access whether you’re studying with us or not. We welcome everyone with open arms and if you’re not yet signed up, you can join us here. It’s free to do so.

We work hard here at DPG to keep the community fresh and up to date with relevant content. We’re well connected in the industry and use our relationships to bring you the very latest news. Our community members are generous in sharing content and getting useful and insightful discussions going.

I’ve been reflecting over the past few weeks about why the community has been so valuable for me and I thought I’d share with you some tips on helping you to get the most out of the DPG Community. I hope you find these useful.

 

Watch the recording of this session to get started with the DPG Community

A while back, I ran some sessions on helping people to get the most out of the DPG Community. The sessions included the ‘how to’ stuff that people need to know to technically use the community. I also included some context setting around why being involved in a community of practice is useful for ongoing professional development. I made the recording of this session available. It lasts 30 minutes. I’d highly recommend scheduling some time in your calendar to watch this session. You can access this on demand at a time convenient to you from any device. Watch the recording here.

 

Get some good discussions going

A community of practice shouldn’t be a passive place where people just head along and consume stuff. It’s okay to lurk and watch but in my experience, I find you get much more value by diving in and getting involved. Whilst on my CIPD programme with DPG I found this a useful way of getting additional information and inspiration for assignments I was working on. Outside of studying I find it also to be a useful way of getting ideas to help in my day-to-day role. Each week, I see thought provoking discussions started by people who are looking for advice and information on a thing they’re working on in their role. Networking with other professionals outside of your own organisation helps you to develop your professional practice by learning from the good stuff that’s out there. I often say it’s like having hundreds of mentors at your disposal. Get involved by starting discussions or commenting on the ones that are there. The big button on the homepage of the DPG Community that says ‘Add a discussion’ is the place to begin. You can start a discussion in any of the four zones which include HR, L&D, Employee Engagement and Leadership.

 

Share your knowledge with a blog

I got into blogging part way through my CIPD qualification and I used the DPG Community as a place to get started. It’s a big thing committing to writing in the public domain and I found that I had some fears in getting started. The DPG Community manager at the time was very supportive and I’m so grateful that he gave me a gentle nudge in the right direction. I blog with the intention of my article being useful to just one person. If what I write can be helpful to at least one person, then my inner desire to help people learn is satisfied. I benefit too. I tend to find I remember more about what I write than the stuff I just keep in my head. Reflections on what you’ve learned in a CIPD programme, some information you’ve discovered, some useful video or key learnings from events you’ve been to are all good places to start. On the homepage of the DPG Community is a ‘Add a blog post’ button. It’s as simple as shaking off your reservations, clicking this and going for it.

 

Make the DPG Community a regular place to visit

Ok, so it’s part of my role here at DPG to be actively involved in the DPG Community. Even so, before joining the team here I found it quickly became top of my list of places to visit on a regular basis. Each week, the community members are sent a weekly update that summarises some of the top discussions and posts. You’re no doubt just like everyone else and you receive far too much email each week. Make sure this one isn’t lost in the noise of your inbox. Grab a brew, have a read, click through to the various things that are shared and get involved.

 

Share what you find on the DPG Community with others

As I say, the DPG Community is available to all HR and L&D professionals so let’s not keep it a secret. Think about your colleagues and friends in the industry. What you find useful will probably be useful to them too. Share what you find with them by email, on social media, in your own internal communication channels or whatever other way works for them. There’s a good feeling you get when you help others learn isn’t there?

 

I’ve loved the past six years being part of the DPG Community and can’t remember what life was like before it came into my professional life. The DPG Community is very much embedded in my continuous professional development DNA and it’s there for you to do just the same.

I look forward to welcoming many new members to the DPG Community this year. We #LOVECPD.