A SHORT GUIDE TO EXTENDED ENTERPRISE CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS

6 reasons to certify employees from within (and how to win at it)

An employee certification program is about more than just handing out gold-foil-stamped card stock for workspace bulletin boards — it’s a way to create a brand-centric, aligned skillset across the extended enterprise.

Though every team under your umbrella — from your plant management to store staff — needs training, not every employee needs to be certified to do their job. A certification program is different from training courses in that it measures a clearly defined standard of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) for a specific topic or technique — and it’s up to you to decide who, what, and how it goes down in your supply chain.

THE WHY:
6 REASONS YOU NEED A CERTIFICATION PROGRAM IN YOUR ENTERPRISE

ONE

ESTABLISH A STANDARDIZED COMPANY “WAY” TO BLOW THE COMPETITION OUT OF THE WATER:

If your employees are getting trained and certified on specific knowledge that aligns with your company goals and brand standards, that’s one big competitive edge. Certifications help your company (and staff) rise up as industry leaders, giving your whole enterprise a good reputation.

TWO

ATTRACT THE ATTENTION OF POTENTIAL CLIENTS AND PARTNERS:

Implementing an in-house certification program shows your customers that you take ownership of your employees’ development and strive for a more competent workforce. And when potential partners have you on the short list, your commitment to staff development, quality of work, and industry leadership will put you above the rest.

THREE

PROMOTE COMPETENCY FROM THE TOP DOWN:

Whether franchise management skills or manufacturing machine mastery, a certification ensuring employees have met a standard skill level can ensure the best workers are leading the way at every step in the supply chain. Enterprises can also use certifications to measure new hire competency or address team skills gaps by offering the program.

FOUR

INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY AND CONSISTENCY ACROSS THE CHAIN:

Uniformity is king when it comes to an extended enterprise model. When every team is held to the same standard in getting certified, it’s like speaking the same language — your partners will be more aligned and more streamlined (and that’s just good business).

A CHICAGO PIZZA CHAIN ROSE TO MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR SUCCESS BY DEVELOPING ITS NEARLY 200 STORE EMPLOYEES WITH AN INTERNAL CERTIFICATION PROGRAM, HAVING THEM SEAMLESSLY GO ONE WEEK WITHOUT A MISTAKE IN DAY-TO-DAY DUTIES. IMAGINE HOW UNSTOPPABLE YOU’D BE IF YOUR ENTIRE ENTERPRISE RAN FLAWLESSLY FOR A WHOLE WEEK!

FIVE

LOWER TRAINING COSTS AND HIGHER EFFICIENCY FOR THE WHOLE ENTERPRISE:

In the long run, an in-house certification course can lower training costs and boost efficiency. Instead of sending people to cross-country corporate training sessions that might have unnecessary fluff or bias, you can determine what makes sense for your company and use your experts to teach it.

SIX

PROMOTE YOUR BRAND AND DEVELOP HAPPIER WORKERS:

Tangible rewards not only motivate your employees to complete courses, but can promote your company. When employees obtain their certificate, they can share their credentials on social media platforms (i.e. beef out that LinkedIn profile) and show their savviness on their resumes. Speaking of resumes — certifications can pave the way for people development wins, like lateral or vertical movement within the franchise (which millennials appreciate).

WHEN BUILDING A CERTIFICATION COURSE, SUBJECT-MATTER EXPERTS ARE MORE LIKELY TO AGREE ABOUT WHAT’S IMPORTANT COMPARED TO WHEN DEVELOPING OTHER TYPES OF TRAINING PROGRAMS.[TRAINING INDUSTRY]

THE HOW:CREATING A
CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

DETERMINE THE PURPOSE OF THE CERTIFICATION

+What skills are crucial for your intended audience to master?
+How does it fit in with your overall training and business goals?

UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE

+Would certain positions need to become certified before gaining new responsibilities (i.e. franchisee certification for owners)?
+How much and what kind of training is needed to get them to the point of mastery?

UNDERSTAND THIRD-PARTY REQUIREMENTS AND LEGAL PARAMETERS

+What outside organizations or standards will influence our in-house program (i.e. government regulations)?
+Are there any legal restraints to using third-party materials or avoiding joint-employment?

LEAN ON THE EXPERTS TO DEVELOP YOUR CONTENT

+Who are your subject-matter experts that you’ll need to consult?
+How can you decide what information is important for your certification?

DEVELOP THE STANDARD REQUIREMENTS FOR PASSING THE CERTIFICATION

+What level of knowledge makes someone qualified for the certification?
+How often will employees at each level need to get recertified?
+Will there be tiers within the certification (i.e. beginner through advanced levels)?

MAKE THE ASSESSMENTS

+What questions, abilities, or projects will be a part of the “final test” to pass?
+What is the timeline for completing the program before taking the assessment?

SUPPLEMENT WITH E-LEARNING

+How will employees have access to certifications?
+How can principles of the certification be incorporated into regular online training?

ESTABLISH METRICS OF SUCCESS

+Are you seeing measurable benefits and an improved workforce?
+How can you optimize your program?

SUCCESSFUL FRANCHISES USE MOBILE LEARNING FOR JUST-IN-TIME (JIT) ACCESS TO RESOURCES AND TRAINING.

The important thing is that employees know and apply best practices, no matter how they get there. Certification programs benefit your entire enterprise in the long run with smarter, more aligned partners. Work them into your training objectives using a cloud-based LMS like Bridge by Instructure to see how great your extended enterprise workforce really can be.

Check out our on-demand webinar “How the Right Training Program Will Change Your Company” and learn how Sotheby’s International saved 40 to 60 hours of training over 1,200 agents across 28 different offices annually.

DO IT.

SEE HOW BRIDGE CAN HELP YOU TODAY.

Published March 2017 by Instructure, Inc.
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