Importance of career development: SCRA Comment March 2021

By Joel Dandrea22 March 2021

Joel Dandrea reports on the overall value of implementing career-development paths and the benefits of introducing a certification programme.

Businesses benefit from a cultivated workforce. There are many ways to help employees reach their career goals while still fulfilling the company mission, no matter the size of your company.

Aligning an employee’s career ambitions with the firm’s strategic goals enables the organisation to achieve its objective and helps retain key talent, especially younger workers. This also helps decrease turnover after economic slowdown, or the natural ebbs and flows of construction and transport projects.

The presence of career-development paths tend to have a productive impact as they ripple through a company. This can improve career satisfaction, morale, motivation, productivity and responsiveness in meeting departmental/organisational targets.

Lead photo Joel Dandrea extended Joel Dandrea points out that “certification programmes provide people with the up-to-date skills they need to stay current in the workforce”

For construction and transport companies, especially at a time when finding, securing and keeping quality talent is a consistent challenge, a career-development path should ideally start as soon as the employee is hired. Goal-setting should begin immediately, with projected outcomes outlined for the first few years of employment.

Perhaps the quickest way to cultivate these paths is through certification. The ever-evolving skillset that workers require often causes anxiety for staff who could be concerned about falling behind.

Within a rapidly-changing work environment, especially with respect to technology, traditional degree programmes do not always evolve quickly enough to keep pace with innovation. Certification programmes provide people with the up-to-date skills they need to stay current in the workforce, while also growing and advancing their careers.

Development opportunities from progressive employers
Probably the most beneficial part of acquiring a certification for employees on every level is the knowledge gained, especially for established workers who need to brush up on the latest technology and for new employees who might have been facing a learning curve.

These employees, from the organisational side, become instantly more valuable to operational efficiency. On the personal side, their increased knowledge enhances their credibility in the field to open the door for advancement and other related opportunities.

Modern-day employers and employees alike are focused on skills more than degrees or job titles, as many industries have shown in this gradually post-Covid-19 pandemic world. Everyone naturally wishes to be paid what they are worth and enjoy the opportunity to advance. While productive organisations will view this desire as a chance to cultivate in-house skills and expand a knowledge base, which can only enhance any forward-thinking company.

A certification represents a demonstrated knowledge and a level of expertise equal to a standardised level. To the benefit of both a company and its staff, the more well-known and credible the degree programme then the more effective it is at distinguishing an organisation’s competency.

A well-regarded certification programme signals a company’s willingness to invest in its people, which also alerts your workforce that you care about their careers. It will undoubtedly inspire and motivate everyone involved, which can only elevate the company’s reputation and ultimately the quality of work.

It is advisable to recognise achievements as they occur. Celebrating certifications and other educational credits across an organisation continues to emphasise the value placed on such attainment.

Future-proofing is a term often associated with employees, but this applies both ways. Establishing career-development paths for your workforce is a way of future-proofing your company. Allowing your aspirational employees to gain higher-level skills and knowledge can only lead to mutual growth and productivity.

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