A workplace culture of continuing professional development can positively impact employees, the employer, and the profession as a whole.
Providing employees the time and resources to keep their skill set up-to-date has far reaching benefits. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), fostering a culture of ongoing professional development can result in a more productive, loyal, and content workforce which provides a valuable competitive edge.
Some employers hesitate to invest in training for employees, fearing that their workers might “jump ship” once their market value has increased; or that the financial cost and time commitment will affect their bottom line. However, SHRM experts have found that ignoring employees’ professional development often has far more detrimental consequences -- more so, perhaps, in an industry such as coatings where employees’ knowledge of safety standards, specialized equipment, and emerging technologies is fundamental to a company’s success.
Counter to the belief that employees will take their new skills elsewhere, professional development has been proven to increase employee engagement. According to a study by Gallup, employee engagement is linked to 12 key performance indicators, including absenteeism, safety, turnover, productivity and profitability. One way to foster engagement? Show employees that their career development is important and that they have opportunities for job growth right where they are by encouraging them to learn new skills, and put them into practice on the job.
Up-to-date employee skill sets also benefit the company as the needs of company evolve. When employees are driven to keep up with the industry’s emerging technologies, their knowledge becomes an asset the company can deploy to adapt to changes. New tools and technologies, shifting economic conditions, changes to regulations-- all pose a risk to a coatings company. But an agile workforce that is accustomed to growing and meeting new challenges can make the process less disruptive.
Within the coatings industry, NACE International offers a series of professional development programs that range from Industrial Coatings Application (a new online course) to specialty training programs such as the Protective Coating Specialist (PCS) Training Program and Math for the Coatings Professional. These courses complement the NIICAP accreditation program and improve the quality of personnel—and the level of employee engagement—within an accredited coatings contractor company.
Overall, creating a culture of continuing professional development within your coatings company leads to increased customer confidence. Constant company-supported opportunities for improvement contribute to higher retention rates, improved attention to safety standards, and increased profitability for employers.