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Regardless of the size of an organization, building a career development path for a team is important. By having a career development path, employees feel more engaged and believe that their employer is concerned about their growth. There are many ways to help employees reach their career goals while fulfilling a company’s mission. 

For Austin Industries’ finance team, the Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP) certification is an important part of each of each employees’ career path. Here are some of the ways this has been accomplished: 

Start right out of the gate

For professionals on Austin Industries’ finance team, the career development path starts when people are hired. The company works with new hires to set a goal to pass the CCIFP during their first few years in the company.

Use the Right Resources

Resources such as “Financial Management & Accounting for the Construction Industry” can be used as the definitive reference. This book, published by Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), is updated annually and provides in-depth coverage of the body of knowledge tested on the CCIFP exam. Each chapter is used for specific lessons and flashcards help employees study the material presented. It is a resource that can be used no matter where someone is on their career path. Many CCIFP holders still refer to it often. “Financial Management & Accounting for the Construction Industry” is a business tool that should be on every bookshelf of anyone working in construction finance.

Another helpful resource is the CCIFP Overview Seminar offered by CFMA. This four-day, intensive session provides an overview of the body of knowledge that every CCIFP should know.

Build a Study Group

Study groups are a great way to build energy and support employees.  If there is not an internal team to do it alone, find others who may be preparing in the same area, or talk with the team at the Institute of Certified Construction Industry Finance Professionals, as they may know of regional or national study groups. Not only does a study group help employees to prepare, it is a great way to build enthusiasm for the CCIFP exam, as well as teambuilding and networking.  

Austin Industries use their own team members who have their CCIFP to moderate the study group at the office. This helps them build their leadership skills and to have a continual refresher of the content. Study groups are held over a lunch break or right after work. It’s a great way for employees to learn, network and take ownership of the process.

Celebrate success

Achieving any career milestone takes dedication and effort. For the Austin Industries’ team, anyone who earns their CCIFP is recognized and their success is celebrated within the team and across the organization.

Share with the broader organization

Aligning the employee's career goals with the strategic goals of the organization not only enables the organization to achieve its goals but also helps the organization by retaining key talent, especially younger workers, and decreasing turnover after economic slowdowns or the natural ebbs and flows of construction projects. Implementing career development paths may also have a direct impact on the entire organization by improving morale, career satisfaction, motivation, productivity, and responsiveness in meeting departmental and organizational objectives. And, since the CCIFP is a key factor in firm rankings, this benefits the enterprise too.

Austin Industries has seen first-hand the benefit of increasing efforts to establish clear strategies for how talent will be grown from within the organization. Career development paths can be effective strategic tools for achieving positive organizational outcomes. They can be a means of ensuring an organization's continuing growth and productivity.  Build a career development pathway in your own organization. It’s important for a team to know finance, but also to know construction. CCIFP certification puts them on this level.

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