Employees are an organisation’s most valuable assets. The hiring and retention of good employees can be an ongoing challenge for many organisations. That’s why employers go through lengthy and expensive processes to recruit and onboard qualified and suitable employees. This, combined with widening skills gaps, is why actively investing in employee training and development is essential for both the growth of the business and the workforce that propels it.
In order to increase employee engagement, retention and performance, organisations need to ensure that they build and foster a culture around the development of their people.
Historically, within the parking industry, the prevailing attitude has been to just get feet on the street. Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs), and other frontline service jobs, were seen as either a stop gap or a last resort. A recent survey found that 93% “fell into” the sector. Through the enhancement of learning and development programmes across the sector there is evidence that this trend is changing. Once you start working in the parking industry, the impact of effective professional development programmes can increase the longevity of a successful career within the sector.
Jade Neville, Head of User Experience for Conduent Transportation UK started her career as a frontline CEO working in Southend-On-Sea, Essex. Jade attributes her experience in frontline roles with giving her a sense of perspective and understanding for operations, from both the operator and the local authority point of view. Her understanding of the sector has allowed her to expand beyond operational roles. Today Jade uses that knowledge to enhance user experience across Conduent’s UK parking and transportation business.
Investing in employee learning and development and providing clear paths to progression, with insights into the different roles available within an organisation, helps employees stay motivated. This in turn reduces employee attrition and therefore reduces costs. It also helps address and identify skills gaps. Building employee knowledge and skills within the organisation enables companies to promote from within, allowing employers to retain the skills and knowledge of those individuals.
Chris Newman, UK Regional Director for Conduent Transportation, began his journey in the parking industry as a configuration technician and project assistant. Chris gained a deep understanding of the systems at operational level, as well as the client’s operational needs and challenges in relation to system requirements. This depth of knowledge helped Chris to progress into project management roles, managerial roles and eventually to UK Regional Director. Chris credits his operational awareness and transferable skills in managing projects, teams and budgets, with giving him the insight and knowledge to proactively address the potential challenges of the business and help clients achieve their goals.
By having honest conversations, effective 1-2-1s and clear professional development plans, employers can establish what motivates their employees, what their strengths are, what area they are interested in, or best suited to progress into.
Successful career development also links into the organisation’s succession planning and talent management. By assessing the current skills and abilities within their teams, managers can strategically plan targeted development goals that consider any potential skills gaps. Organisations can then develop training programmes that cater to the strengths and requirements of their employees as well as the needs and requirements of their organisation.
A top priority for Conduent is to ensure that our managers and leaders understand how to identify our associate’s strengths and how to support them through a long-term continuous development programme. By building professional development plans that support our associates’ individual goals, we can give them the confidence, knowledge, and skills to succeed. This in turn embeds a culture of empowerment that builds trust, encourages innovation, and ultimately helps us attract and retain the talent our organisation needs to deliver cutting edge solutions for our clients.