Why companies should invest in employees’ career growth and development
MANILA, Philippines – Ensuring rewards for hard work, along with opportunities for skills progression, is a good way to keep employees happy.
Why? It’s motivating for an employee to know that there’s something better ahead – that there's something to aspire for in the company, like a promotion, a merit increase, or better benefits in store. This is why most employees would check their options for career growth and development before applying for a company.
Career growth is usually described as an individual’s rise among the ranks. It is an employee’s journey through a company’s ladder, or rather, lattice because employees can progress not just vertically, but laterally as well.
Career development on the other hand is what an employee does to improve his skills on the job. This could be accomplished through taking classes, participating in workshops or seminars, or doing anything that will polish and improve credentials.
Equally important is having a sense of appreciation over the work that employees do and their contributions to the organization.
Take Leonides “Leo” Sido’s story, for example. Leo once worked as a janitor at Sitel Academy, a free training program for aspiring call center agents at Sitel Philippines. One day, tired of his dead end job, he decided to enroll in Sitel Academy himself and change his career path. He failed the first time he applied and had to re-do his interview 3 times until he was eventually and finally recruited.
From janitor to call center agent, Leo is now a coach (team leader), and one of the top coaches in his account, too.
“One thing that you would really learn from Sitel Academy is how to have self-confidence. You can be anyone that you want,” he said.
The prospect of a better future is what spurred Leo to keep trying even after every failure. Until now, he is looking forward.
“Ever since I started working here in Sitel I promised my family, one day, I’m going to treat you [to] a weekend holiday in Boracay. I haven’t fulfilled that goal yet, but I know sooner or later, I will," he says.
Employees would usually see promotions or salary bumps as incentives to invest in their career growth. Employers, on the other hand, would reward employees with career development if they see the initiative of those employees to hone their skills.
Some employers make the mistake of opting not to invest in learning and development because resources will just be wasted should the employee decide to leave. But actually, investing in these can reap good returns for any company.
Florante Mifa started his journey in Sitel Baguio. Like many others, Florante did not pass the initial interview but was instead referred to the Sitel Academy for communications training. After just two weeks, the coaches at Sitel Academy encouraged Florante to apply for a telecom account again, and just like Leo, he proved skilled enough to be recruited on the second try.
In his role as a learning specialist, Florante is able to teach and train Sitel employees as well as inculcate among them a zest for continuous learning.
“I really, really love the job,” Florante now says. "Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yours. If there’s already an opportunity, since it already happened to me, if I can still move up, I will be more than happy to take that challenge.”
This just goes to show that having a strong learning and development program is important to ensure that employees develop and hone their skills with the changing needs of the market and business. Global companies like Sitel realize the importance of continuous learning, and invest heavily on programs and tools that increase the skill of their employees.
A company’s greatest asset is its employees. If they do not offer their people opportunities to grow and develop, they will start looking for these benefits elsewhere. Conversely, if they take the time to develop them and strengthen their employees’ skill set, these people will become the company’s greatest advantage.
Allan dela Cruz, for example, is someone who started from small beginnings. His father was a taxi driver who spent many long hours working so he could send Allan to school. So when Allan graduated, he was looking for ways he could somehow give back to his family. That’s when he found Sitel.
“Sitel is not just a company who is paying you. The people working in Sitel are people who really are very concerned with you. They want you to become a better version of yourself,” says Allan. “We are really exerting effort in developing people, in developing talent, in developing the skill of our people.”
Like many others who began working in Sitel, Allan started off as a call center agent. Six years later, Allan is now a coach with multiple recognitions for being a top referrer for the company. He bought his own car, and is currently helping his father send his sibling to school.
It just goes to show that when an employee grows and develops, the company does as well. – Rappler.com