Everybody loves the bit of paper that shows that they know their stuff. I know that I do!
Often a certification or qualification can be seen as the pinnacle of achievement and a true sign that your company value and invest in their people, both with time and finance.
When I started in my first full time HR role, they funded my Master’s Degree and gave me study leave to ensure I was successful. As a young newly-wed, this was definitely needed financially and I felt a great sense of loyalty to the business, and put in extra hours to make sure everything ran smoothly. They also benefited from my final year project, as it was based on a real issue within the organisation and I came out with a plan, which was implemented successfully.
I spoke at the beginning of this month about finding the skills gaps between where your company currently is and where your 1, 3 or 5 year business plan says you’ll be. Some of those skills may need to be ‘bought in’ or you may outsource, but it’s much more cost effective to develop those skills in house. It’s really a win-win, you retain good staff, who improve their skill-set and salary, and they develop the skills you need to grow your business.
There are many different certifications and qualifications; dependent on your business needs. If your business is regulated there may also be compulsory qualifications, so it’s good to keep up with any changes the regulators may make, so that you are prepared ahead of time.
A really cost effective way to develop an individual and increase the skills and capacity in your business is to get an apprentice – apprenticeships have come a long way! As a small business you can benefit from government funding (dependent on your turnover). An apprenticeship can last between 1-2 years and it isn’t only under 25’s who can benefit from an apprentice.
It is important that you have your team gain qualifications that will aid your business as well as support their development and growth. This is why having a plan is so important. A lot of small businesses fail because they fall behind their competitors and don’t have time to develop the new skills that are needed.
It is pointless having your staff learn a new system that they won’t use for another 6 months. The best training can be implemented in the workplace as soon as it is learnt. When I under took PRINCE 2 Project Management training, I had already started working on projects using the methodology and was frankly a bit overwhelmed by all of the terminology. Once I completed the course my understanding of how a project worked and why I needed to do something, it made me far more effective and efficient, because I knew how the process worked.
Encouraging your staff to up-skill can feel risky, as you could train staff that then take their shiny new skills and leave. However you can protect yourself by having a learning agreement in place.
This means that should an employee leave within a period of completing their course, or before completing, they would need to reimburse the cost of their course. If you need some assistance drafting a learning agreement, click here to schedule a call to discuss.
Investing in certifications and qualifications for your staff is a big way to show you value and appreciate them, as well as build your business. Will you invest to build and scale your business?