Corporate goals, generally centered on profit and shareholder value, are often at odds with the goals of individual employees. As anyone with an MBA will tell you, there are several potential ways to align these goals, but no silver bullet.
In my role as a consulting director at SiriusDecisions, I’ve seen a lot of variation in how alignment is demonstrated, and I’m continuously challenged by our clients to help them increase revenue or profit at their organization and not destroy employee morale in the process. But how do you simultaneously improve business results AND employee satisfaction? I believe that employee certification is part of the answer.
I recently worked with a client to develop a formal certification program for its lead development representative (LDR) function. The client was building a new business unit by merging various solution offerings, often through acquisitions. As a result, a new LDR team was assembled with people from similar telequalification functions; however, the team members had different experiences, solutions knowledge, performance metrics, lead management processes and enablement support. The project was driven by corporate management and aligned to business goals, and the organization approached us with the following questions:
We started the project with a detailed discovery phase. We surveyed LDRs and their managers to learn more about the current state, what they needed to be successful and what should be included in the proposed certification program. We learned something very interesting along the way. When we asked these employees (we interacted with almost 100 people during this process) what they thought about having a formal certification program, they cited the following benefits:
We learned that, if implemented correctly, this program would benefit not only the business (as measured by revenue growth) but also the employees (as measured by job satisfaction and retention). Another theme we uncovered during this project was a requirement to differentiate levels of skills and performance. It all comes down to “what you know and what you can show.” Here are five certification elements we strongly recommend for building a professional certification program of your own:
As you can see, there are several reasons to certify your employees that will benefit your business. The real hidden gem is the long list of benefits certification provides for your employees and the alignment between employee and employer by implementing certification programs – it’s truly a win-win proposition!
If you have questions about developing and implementing your own certifications programs, please contact SiriusDecisions Consulting to learn more.