How Professional Certifications Benefit the Entire Company
Professional certifications are one way that employees can show themselves, employers, and clients that they know what they're talking about- that the information they've worked to gain is valuable and current. Other reasons that an employee might seek certifications are:
- Increased marketability
- Validation of knowledge
- Enhanced credibility
- Increased earning power
- Confidence among and respect from peers
- Boosted reputation
- Greater academic performance
There are many benefits that an employee gains from having current certifications under their belt, but what about the rest of the company? In what ways will professional certifications benefit the entire company?
1. What Constitutes a Professional Certification?
Professional certifications are credentials that a person can earn that show their knowledge and competency with a specific skill type. Confirmation of certification usually comes in the form of a document stating that the person has completed the necessary training and preparation that meets a specific criterion for a given role (more on this in a moment).
Additionally, professional certifications can be broken down into different types that apply to differing career goals.
Corporate certifications come from within. In this case, the employing company seeks to improve the skills and education of their employees with in-house training specific to the company's needs.
Role-specific certifications help professionals develop valuable skills within their field and position them as an authority to clients and others in that field. Some certifications are necessary for more specialized positions, like in accounting, therapy, nursing, etc.
Product-specific certifications offer the employee an in-depth understanding of a specific product or software, like Adobe, VR/AR, and Microsoft Office. These certifications provide employees with specified information regarding products they'll be working with on a regular basis.
There are also different avenues that a company can take when implementing professional certification programs in their company. The business can either hire somebody who already has professional certification (though be aware, these individuals generally expect a larger salary), pay to certify an existing employee, or pay to certify an incoming employee and add to their training.
In addition, a company can also choose to certify their entire company or just one individual. There are benefits and trade-offs to both. Certifying a single individual is considerably less expensive than certifying an entire group. However, certifying an entire group guarantees that the workplace has an internal insurance policy against employee turnover.
2. The Process of Professional Certification
The process is pretty simple: choosing the right program, paying for said program, studying and completing the program, paying for the certification exam, taking the exam, and finally receiving the certificate itself. However, within each step is a nuance that needs to be considered.
Pick the right subject and program for your niche. Whether your interest is nursing, management, animation, or engineering, it's important to do research into schools and companies that can provide applicable information to your chosen field. For instance, there are dozens of nursing certificates that enable a nurse to be adaptable in any given niche within the industry, but not all schools or programs will provide the necessary information to take and pass these exams.
Study in preparation. The right program will provide you with study materials, projects, workshops with peers, and everything you need to succeed in certification. It will also likely provide a certificate of completion, which is a great way to boost a resume.
Complete the program. A little obvious, but it should still be stated. The program will only be as good as the effort you put into it.
Renew your certification. Some types of certifications require regular renewal determined by the state you reside in. Most states will send out notices to all applicable persons, but it's good to keep track of it yourself in case of a move or any other unforeseeable event. Renewing your certification ensures that you are up to date with the most recent and crucial information.
3. How Professional Certifications Benefit the Entire Company
So, how do professional certifications benefit the entire company? We covered a little bit of it already, with up-to-date industry information, employee retention, and ways certification benefits the employee themself, but let's get a little more specific.
Improved employee retention: Losing employees is always a detriment to the workplace, even if it's expected and coming from the employer's side. It creates a gap in workplace knowledge, slows the business process, and reduces the number of available employees. It also costs more to replace the employee who has received a training investment. Gallup estimates that it costs one-half to two times the employee's annual salary to replace them. (Source
In contrast, when you're able to retain employees for longer periods of time, you can create better systems of work, enhance and add to your existing knowledge pool, and create a better, happier company culture. A major reason that most millennials quit their jobs is because the job itself lacks growth opportunities. Positioning yourself as a company that is willing to provide that expertise to your employees shows them that you're also willing to invest in them.
2. Attracting top candidates: As an employer who creates a company with a focus on facilitating employee growth, you will attract individuals who have the desire to improve themselves. These individuals are typically high achievers that in turn add their knowledge base to your other employees. In showing that you already hire those with certified knowledge, you set a minimum standard for applicants, which in turn creates a higher minimum acceptable knowledge base.
3. Setting higher standards for professionalism: As a company that actively seeks opportunities for professional development, you set the standard of professionalism not only within the company, but also within the industry in which you operate. Other companies, after seeing the lengths you'll go to in order to ensure the best for your team, will follow suit and add a greater level of credibility to the niche.
4. Building an agile productive company culture: Having employees certified in multiple areas helps create more productive systems and protects against risks like employee loss or injury. It is an insurance policy that allows the company to operate the same way regardless of changes in management, workload, and workforce.
5. Client confidence: Oftentimes, clients will shop around to find the exact company that will fulfill their needs and finish the job to their satisfaction. It goes without saying that most clients want to partner with companies with proven industry knowledge and experience. Many companies are searching for ways to improve their customers' experience but don't realize that one of the most beneficial ways to do this is by boosting their company's credibility with team licensure and certifications. Never rule out professional certifications where the client is involved.
6. Reducing errors with higher knowledge standards: In certain programs, attendees are given opportunities to share the knowledge they've gained via projects prior to completing the certification exam to help solidify their knowledge. Within the workforce, this means that with the now extensive knowledge and experience they have, they're better able to complete work with minimal error. It also means that they have a shorter learning curve within the company and can learn company-specific processes with similarly minimal error.
7. Excellent networking opportunities: Obtaining professional licensure and certification can grant access to conferences and workshops for your field that are otherwise unavailable. For instance, attending a manufacturing conference can:
- Provide the opportunity to meet other professionals within your field.
- Keep you up to date on the latest manufacturing innovations.
- Give you the opportunity to exchange relevant industry information.
- Provide insight into different manufacturing solutions.
- Allow you to discuss global supply chain challenges.
8. Filling skill gaps within your industry: With how rapidly information is generated in today's information-rich environment, there are bound to be skill areas that aren't being covered. With certifications, you will be given the latest information, allowing you to fill the relevant gaps within your industry. This will lend more credit to you for being an authority in your field of work.
Whether we're talking on a business or individual level, it's no longer just a luxury to have professional certifications-it's a necessity. These certifications, though time-consuming and expensive, give your business more credibility not only in the form of the knowledge gained but also in the form of the necessary effort it took to gain the certification. Making time to learn the information, study it, and then test your knowledge is arduous to undertake, but with the benefits of networking and a more productive workplace, you can build client confidence and set higher standards for your industry with provided professional training opportunities.
Looking at partnering with a top-rated professional education provider? School of PE can help you take your team to the next level. Contact us today
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