Employees may want to pursue a certificate for a number of reasons, including curiosity, career development, a desire to bolster their credibility, as well as increased responsibilities and pay. From an organisational perspective, there are a few factors to consider when supporting them in this. First, which professional certificates are regarded as effective within your industry and why? What resources exist to make talent development a priority? And ultimately— in what ways could your talent leverage these new skills to create impact within and beyond your organisation?
Though professional certificates require an additional investment of time and energy in your people, they also have the potential to create real win-win for the business.
Elevate your products
Perhaps the most obvious advantage of setting aside the time and budget to upskill your talent is that they can leverage new skills to enhance and elevate your current offerings. Armed with stronger perspective and more fluency in key market tools, guidelines, and best practices, they can transform their knowledge into new ways to improve current services and products as well as suggest ways to competitively evolve them for the future.
Empowering others to learn through tangible opportunities communicates that they hold both real value and unlocked potential. This can go a long way in terms of employee engagement and motivation. Communicating belief in others’ abilities and aspirations can also have immediate and lasting impact on their willingness not only to do the work, but to do it well. This in turn can drive a stronger sense of individual accountability in team members, whose willingness to advocate for quality can create positives for clients.
When individuals have the credentials they need to deliver with confidence, the organisation benefits, too. A team that works together to deliver stronger outcomes begins with people who feel they have the foundational support and tools to perform to and beyond client expectation. Wherever talent is in the process, from conceptualising, to producing, to selling the product, they have more lift to excel when they have had exposure to competitive best practices and approaches.
Be proactive about risk
Though training is ideally about others’ learning and ability to build better solutions, the flip side is that it also helps organisation to minimise risks that could accompany under-trained employees. Though it is not the most inspiring of contexts, ensuring others are up-to-speed on organisational and industry compliance is key to a more secure and even profitable way of working. According to the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), which collected training information from over 2,500 firms, companies offering comprehensive training had a 24 percent higher profit margin than those who spent less.
Build a nimbler talent base
A team member certified in a new tool or with specialized knowledge can step in and leverage their insights on a broader range of projects across the organisation. As new issues and challenges arise, talent who have taken a continuous learning approach will be better equipped to problem solve and surface solutions in the moment versus those who have always relied on the same tools or methods.
Link development with mentorship
Another possible advantage of talent pursuing a certificate is that they can share their knowledge with other team members. This can create an environment where others can learn by osmosis and absorb techniques, methods, and ideas from those who have expanded their toolkits. Those who have obtained professional certificates can also present their knowledge more formally in team learning sessions and support those considering this learning option themselves.
As you consider which certificates may be worthwhile for your talent, it can be useful to remember how upskilling your people can upskill your organisation. Incentivising people to learn can ultimately help you and your business stay ahead of the competitive curve. It can also inspire your people to improve the processes in place, advocate for stronger client solutions, as well as share their skills with others.
You can find the resources to help your people develop an edge by signing up at Strategy Execution today.