Whilst companies may well feel that the period of economic uncertainty is still lingering, there is definitely a more promising view on the horizon.
Unfortunately, the first casualty in tough times is very often career development initiatives. Now is the time to get back on track as people will be harder to hold onto, renetion will be tougher as the economy gets brighter.
Sometimes companies can make the mistake of seeing expenditure on career development as generating little or no financial benefit to the business.
To be fair, career development activity, performance management and appraisals, can be an expensive investment, yet even in tough times it can add value and meet individual and company educational needs.
Initially, it requires clear strategic direction from management so that individual strategically aligned career plans include outcomes that directly benefit the company. And it is about aligning everything with the ultimate goal of increasing profitability.
Unless a career development goal inspires an individual and can be linked back to increased company success, it is a waste of time.
Take the example of over- the- phone or face-to-face customer facing people providing some sort of account management or project delivery. A company can only increase its charge rates to the customer and salaries to its people where there is clear evidence of value being added to the customer flowing to the bottom line. Career development plans must be designed to generate opportunities for this to occur while giving people the development they want and companies value for their investment.
Team members need to take greater responsibility for their own success and appreciate that their salary is based on company performance. A well-thoughtout career development plan can increase competencies and revenues during the downturn – and it can happen FAST.
HR can assist companies to ensure that one of the key career development plan options to look at is ensuring visibility of employees in the marketplace for potential new clients. There is a knack to getting this right which involves a plan of attack, supported by the organisation and embraced by the individual.
Initially the company must communicate its networking and client building goals to its people so they can be incorporated into structured individual plans designed to bring them face-to-face with revenue building opportunities.
This approach satisfies the two objectives of effectively building the skills base for team members, who would ordinarily not have direct revenue building on their plate, and increasing the bottom line. It’s a win win and it works.
When people are known ‘in industry’, they feel more valued, get on board with targets and exceed their KPI’s at the same time.This applies to ALL levels and roles within an organisation, not just sales people.
Effectively everyone needs to get into the thick of it, take hold of their own career success by recognising that to earn more money and ahve a strong remuneration reviw, they need to make more money or support others who do! You end up with a well-oiled machine working with common purpose with a well-organised and strategic approach to increasing revenue.
Unfortunately many companies have not created a culture to support this, even in non-sales based roles such as IT, where team members should be encouraged to seek new opportunities that will contribute to wealth generation.
Approaching career development from a completely fresh perspective will generate opportunities based around development at an individual level that will contribute to company profitability in challenging and uncertain times.
Managing people takes times and effort but the rewwards will come.
As always, remember, ‘Energy equals outcome, so make sure that you are focusing on the right things’.
For HR that really makes a difference to your company and your people. Call us at Vouch for a chat, we’re here to help you.