Whether you're tracking lifeguards' CPR certifications or hiring a new truck driver in need of a CDL, staying on top of certifications is a key part of running an effective workplace.
If you're a manager, you know how vital it is to make sure that your employees are properly certified at all times. Say that lifeguard who forgot to renew his CPR certification is a little rusty and encounters a life-saving situation: this could be disastrous. Are the stakes always life or death? Of course not. But simply making sure that your employees are prepared and qualified to do their jobs can make a huge difference.
Unfortunately, employee certification tracking can be a headache for businesses of all sizes.
That's why, today, we're going to tell you everything you need to know in order to effectively track your employees' certifications and training. Those eight steps are:
- Maintain detailed certification records
- Evaluate status reports
- Set reminders to notify yourself of expiration dates
- Streamline the certification renewal process
- Effectively communicate YOUR certification requirements
- Nail down YOUR organization's specific certification requirements
- Create subcategories of organized certification types
- Make your employees active participants in the process
Ready? Let's hop in!
Maintain Detailed Certification Records
If your employees tend to stick around for a while, it's important to know the history of their certification behavior. Do they have a history of renewing their certifications on time? Do they let a portion of their training linger uncompleted? Do they fail to actively re-engage when refresher training is offered?
There are many things certification history can tell you about an employee's behavior. If you keep track of that history, it can help you to make important managerial decisions for your organization.
Evaluate Status Reports
It's important to set a regular to time to review status reports of your employees' certifications.
If you only set aside a time to review certification statuses (each month, say) you risk letting other obligations take precedence, or forgetting altogether. Instead, put someone in charge of bringing you certification status reports. Better yet, find a piece of software that will provide you with status reports at set times. A complete certification and training status report should include your employees, as well as the "current," "expired," or "pending" status of all their certifications and training requirements.
Set Reminders to Notify Yourself of Expiration Dates
When it comes to getting re-certified, even the best employees can be forgetful
An easy way to get around forgetfulness is to have a notification system in place. It doesn't have to anything complicated, simply establish a system that reminds you when one of your employees needs a recertification. A foolproof system of reminders will make sure no employee goes extended periods of time without getting recertified.
Streamline the Certification Renewal Process
If your employees liked that you alerted them when their certifications were about to expire, they'll love that you're providing them with the resources necessary to actually get recertified.
You should have a catalog of readily accessible, detailed information-contacts, addresses, registration forms, websites-for your employees to look at when they are facing an expired certification. Having all of this information on hand, and being able to easily share it with the employees that need it, will make everyone's life a heck of a lot easier.
Effectively Communicate YOUR Certification Requirements
Because the certification and recertification processes are sometimes overlooked, you may not have a streamlined method of communication in place.
The method you use to communicate certification updates to your team members should be separate from the method you use to communicate with them on a daily basis. Emails get read and quickly discarded. Workplace messaging apps like Slack are too informal for important information like recertification. Face-to-face reminders can become repetitious and are easily forgotten.
That's why you need to use a distinct application that not only allows you to track certification histories and status reports but communicate those histories and status reports directly with your team members, too.
Nail Down YOUR Organization's Specific Certification Requirements
Making sure that your employees are trained and certified to do their jobs is one thing. Staying up to date on industry certification standards is another issue entirely.
Boards and committees are constantly tweaking and updating certification requirements. As a manager, you need to stay on top of anything that might impact when, how, and from who your employees are obtaining their certifications. You never want to wait until after a mishap with a new employee that industry-standard training has changed.
Create Subcategories of Organized Certification Types
It's a good idea to establish which certifications and training requirements are mandatory, and which are not.
This seems like a relatively small detail, but sorting certifications like this-even ranking them based on importance-will help your employees match their training to your organization's needs. Not to mention, they'll be grateful that you've given them the option to avoid unnecessary training sessions.
Make Your Employees Active Participants in the Certification Process
Keeping track of certifications is difficult: there's no need for you to take it all on yourself.
Create a system in which your employees are active participants in the certification process. Hold them accountable. Make it a part of their job to respond to recertification reminders, and to submit their own documentation. If you're using certification tracking software, make sure your employees have access to that same software. Give them the ability to upload documents and check off requirements themselves. This will allow you to focus on, you know, running your business.
Certifications are an important and often overlooked part of the workplace. They act as benchmarks for employee competency and performance. Don't let certification become a pain, and don't fall into the trap of thinking it doesn't matter. Creating a system is the first step in making sure all of your employees are meeting industry standards of service and skill.