Career Development as a Currency

Career Development as a Currency
Personal development is as much a part of career growth as professional evaluation.

Helping your employees can be done in a variety of different ways.

During the last CCIF meeting held in Halifax back on May 24, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel Focusing on Talent Management in the 21st Century. It was an exceptional experience and there were some tremendous ideas shared among industry and out-of-industry professionals alike. One discussion point I received significant feedback and questions on was a statement I made suggesting, “There are different currencies in the world besides money to reward your employees with.”

This statement was referring to the impact that a comprehensive career development and training program can have on both the reward system and retention rates of your employees.

Beyond financial benefits

At some point, there is only so high an employer can reach when using monetary benefits as a singular reward system. Let’s not be mistaken, competitive compensation plans are important, but when you are competing for employees and the compensation is equal, then the prospect of career development and training is your proverbial one-up on the competition!

The following are some ideas to assist in developing a career development process in your business as a talent management reward and retention tool.

Make personal development a part of the evaluation process.

Career development and training systems are an investment in staff and the enterprise overall. However, reciprocity and commitment are important. Ensure that, along with personal evaluations regarding the job, we are also evaluating how employees are undertaking their own personal development. Providing recognition and reward on the development of one’s self is a powerful signal of expectations and tremendous influence on culture.

Don’t just manage an employee’s personal development—support it.

Ask your employees what you can do to assist them in their own personal development. Whether it is allowing the assignment of ‘at work hours to contribute to personal development’ or mentoring an employee through a particular challenge, let them know they have your support.

Provide in-house low-cost tools.

Despite the downward pressures on profitability that collision repair centres are facing today, even a collision centre with a shoestring budget can afford to provide books. Even for those that don’t necessarily like to read, consider setting up an audible (or any other audio book subscription), that all staff can share and listen too. The other consideration is to split the $14.99 a month with the employee.

In either case, the topics of literature should be focused on a particular skill that the operator and employee have agreed to as an ideal skill to develop in order to assist advancement in the company.

Encourage people to share what they have learned.

Surgeons have a phrase: ‘see one, do one, teach one’. When someone has just finished studying a particular topic, they are in a great position to provide a 30 minute presentation to their colleagues on their learnings. This can become a regular occurrence when the company provides tools to learn and the drinks (non-alcoholic preferable) and the team provides the learning.

In conclusion, you may fear that none of the four suggestions can match what any of your direct competitors may offer, and you may be right. But if you commit to one hour per day (inclusive of Saturdays where I suggest two hours), they can combine into the foundation of an inexpensive career development program that will provide not only professional development but real personal growth.

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