While the economic recession has led many firms to freeze hiring and cut costs, it has also given an opportunity to employees to enhance their career prospects.
Difficult times can certainly be utilized effectively for learning and development to enhance the knowledge base and skills.
In the current scenario, organizations are leaving no stone unturned in allowing employees to enhance career prospects via an additional qualification. At a reputed Pharma company capability enhancement is a part of the HR frame work and strategy for the long term. The pharmaceutical major actively collaborates with the best institutes of science and management to build long term technical and leadership strengths. They have collaborated with IIM – Ahmedabad in leadership development efforts for their top talent. They have also recently tied up with leading institutes like Manipal University and BITS Pilani to enable their employees to pursue their PhD while at work.
Unisys also has a career management program in place to give its employees the opportunity to, grow within the organization. Unisys University, for example, offers a selection of programs, both instructors led as well as self paced trainings and employees can make the best possible use of this facility.
In addition to the internal courses offered, they also encourage employees to undertake additional qualifications that would enhance their career prospects.
Another leading Financial Services company encourages employees to acquire industry specific certifications in financial planning, certified financial analysts etc. For a broking company, industry certifications are mandatory for specific jobs. For example, cash market dealer certification is necessary for working as a cash market dealer and AMFI certification is mandatory to sell mutual funds.
The major challenge in pursuing an additional qualification along with a job is that the employee needs to manage his / her time well in order to accommodate both. One has to deliver on the job and also meet the demands of the course s/he is pursuing.
The biggest challenge is self motivation to pursue further studies. Most youngsters remain content with whatever qualification they hold. Cost of pursuing a part time course which is on the expensive side, is another factor. Though a lot of educational loans are available, the interest rates are high. Absence from work often on loss of pay to prepare and appear for exams is another dissuading factor.
In today’s fast moving life, many young professionals are vulnerable to stress. Stress could emanate out of various situations such as lifestyle, health or relationship issues, lack of support system at home and competitive focus on acquiring material symbols of success or career advancement. Due to the tight timelines for delivery and increased focus on performance outcomes, many employees are unable to enjoy a proper work life balance. To add to this, the current economy has impacted many companies’ revenues and profits which, in effect, has put many jobs at risk resulting in the frequency of counseling support and guidance going up significantly. Both formal sessions, involving a trained counselor and informal sessions, with immediate boss or group HR, are becoming routine for employees who are unable to cope with such high stress levels. Employees are often found to confide comfortably in counselors as their approach to the problem is objective and discreet.
However, these days, most organizations encourage managers to play the role of counselors and are expected to constantly engage in one-to-one conversations with their team members to understand them better and help them during difficult times.
To ensure the mental and emotional health of its employees, Intelenet has adopted unique employee assistance, program, the service of Drishti, a professional outfit specializing in offering varied services related to the field of human behavior. Drishti offers services that help employees understand themselves. This on-site counseling service is a fully confidential service. Information that employees share with the Drishti counselors is only used for the sole purpose of helping them and is not shared with any other person without the expressed consent of the employee. I – Counsel is another initiative taken by Intelenet which gives employees the opportunity to come out of their nagging stress and enhance their lives. Employees can consult these professionally trained counselors who modify their perception, behavior, personality to bring a better understanding amongst colleagues at the workplace. The unique way of I–Counsel service is that the counselors visit the operators’ floor process by process and explain employees what counseling is and how it could benefit them in their day-to-day lives.
Career planning can be done from higher secondary school level based on individual’s academic and analytical capability and can go on into the job even as a top professional.