By Donna Pollander, ACA, Executive Director, International Fluid Power Society
Business growth and success rely on a workforce with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time. Fluid power requires skilled professionals who understand the importance of standards and the proper design, implementation, and maintenance of the equipment they work on. The industry thrives not only on technological improvements but on skills, knowledge, and professionalism – and that is what makes our industry flourish and the job more fulfilling for workers.
In a world where competition for jobs and higher salaries is rising, certification offers promise because it is a credible, third-party assessment of one’s skill and knowledge of a given subject.
Incorporating certification from the International Fluid Power Society into your workplace means introducing consistent, measurable, and industry-recognized standards. Certification in general offers employees a sense of pride in their performance; it gives them confidence to handle challenging situations, and it builds a commitment to their profession. For an employer, that pride and confidence result in superior customer service and safety that is almost immeasurable.
IFPS certification demonstrates independent confirmation of an employee’s abilities and skills. It’s a measure of an employee’s capability to design, sell, troubleshoot, and repair systems. This in-house ability means less money and time spent on downtime or hiring outsiders to do it for you.
Employers who support an employee’s certification journey agree that it inspires high standards among their colleagues and distinguishes dedicated professionals within the company. In looking around your own circles, you’ll likely see that your certified peers are more dedicated to their jobs, serious about their careers, and have plans to continue developing and growing in the industry.
A study conducted by Work Institute found that “escalating competition for workers and a shrinking workforce are coming together, intensifying an employee-in-control marketplace.” The study indicated that it costs as much as 33% of a worker’s annual salary to replace them, and that the main reason workers leave a company is career development (22%) followed by work-life balance (12%). Indirect costs included “lost institutional knowledge, the time lag it takes to find a replacement, and the time it takes for that new worker to become fully productive.” This helps to put the cost of paying for an employee’s certification into perspective.
Supporting and paying for an employee’s certification yields measurable dividends to an employer. There are many reasons an employee may want professional certification: personal sense of achievement, an increase in salary or status, promotion, or specialized expertise with a view to career development. But it’s not just the employee who benefits from professional certification; employers profit too in more ways than you might think. Happy employees present a more credible face to clients, and they are happy to work for an organization with a good reputation in the industry. Increased productivity and boosted morale benefit the organization, its employees, and its clients.
In a Forbes Magazine article titled “Why A Handful of Companies Leave the Rest in the Dust,” Marco Annunziata comments on the widening gap between the best-performing companies and the others. “It is not that the most productive firms are investing more in equipment,” Annunziata wrote. “The key to faster productivity growth is the ability to combine new technologies with the right human capital and to change a firm’s operations, processes, and managerial practices to exploit the new opportunities. Education, training, and upskilling are equally important.”
Here are other reasons to support certification:
•Certification increases available skills, which contributes to increased productivity, not just by certified employees but through the opportunities it gives to other staff members who learn by osmosis as well as direct knowledge sharing.
•Boosted productivity results in more efficient teams and improves an organization’s bottom line.
• Ongoing training supports a performance-based culture.
•Certified professionals create a more trustworthy face of the company to clients and customers.
•Certification expands an organization’s network in its field and related industries. A company can leverage its employees’ skills on social and business networks to market its products and services and increase referrals, i.e., “bragging rights”!
•Instead of differentiating itself from competitors in terms of price, the credibility certification offers distinguishes an organization as a leader in the industry.
Improved efficiency and reduced risk
There’s a famous quote by Ziglar: “What if we train them, and they leave? What if we don’t, and they stay?” The latter is a frightening thought indeed! Safety, downtime, and employee satisfaction are three important reasons for a certified workforce.
Competency has a direct influence on risk for an organization. Put succinctly, by investing in their people and focusing on the competency to carry out both routine and nonroutine tasks, companies build considerable resilience to risk and thus prevent, deal with, and recover from adversity.