Employee Development: How Upgrading Employees’ Skills Can Provide a Competitive Advantage

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In today’s competitive business environment, success isn’t just about attracting the right people – it also depends on giving existing employees more opportunities to develop.

Every organization must adopt new technologies and practices in order to remain competitive and achieve growth. However, the current pace of change and the rapid emergence of new technologies make it increasingly difficult for companies to find staff with specialized skills.

Initiatives such as the recent Workplace Learning Week are designed to highlight the importance of learning and development on the job and are a timely reminder that the development of current employees is just as important in ensuring that the A company’s workforce can take advantage of these new technologies and gain competitive advantage.

Training is sustainability

Continuous employee development and the adoption of a learning culture are essential for companies to sustain their organizations.

New apps and tools continue to transform the way businesses are run. Making sure your employees have the expertise, as well as the mindset, to welcome and use them is essential.

Employees need to feel supported and committed to their organization and have the confidence that they can do their jobs now and in the future.

Unfortunately, our recent research shows that this is not currently the case. IT decision-makers (31%) and industry decision-makers (41%) rated skills as the top issue impacting digital initiatives, but seven in ten employees say they don’t receive the training or skills. tools they need.

Here we see a real divide with organizations identifying the lack of skills as a pitfall, but not doing enough to ensure that staff are able to rise to the challenge and develop.

Organizations should promote a cross-functional approach to identify the skills required by different departments and leverage experts from within the company itself.

It is essential that organizations have a training strategy in place to ensure that their workforce can develop the skills they need to use new technologies and maintain their competitive advantage.

Additionally, having a loyal and dedicated workforce that feels empowered and valued can help avoid potential staff retention issues.

Improving the skills of staff through programs such as Work Learning Week is a crucial aspect of tackling this problem and shows that their growth and development is important to the business at large.

An advocate for technological training

It would be rare to find an organization that denies the importance of having regular training. However, many still do not provide enough opportunities for their employees to develop their technical skills. One of the reasons for this is that they find it difficult to define who is responsible.

One of the issues here is that training happens naturally within the HR department, but technology requires the application of specialist knowledge, and since digital tools are constantly evolving, HR staff alone can have struggling to ensure a successful transition to the digital age.

As a solution, organizations should promote a cross-functional approach to identify the skills required by different departments and leverage experts from within the company itself.

Training is no longer something that should only take place one week a year, or even quarterly. It should be woven into the fabric of your business.

In marketing, for example, we have seen the emergence of new software and SaaS models in CRM and marketing automation to help execute and measure marketing programs. These often require new skills, some of which are found in business operations.

In some cases, having “super users” who can train and support other team members within and between organizations can be an effective way to develop the new skills required.

An effective learning and development strategy must harness skills transferable between organizations to help employees develop and adopt new tools.

Beyond the week of learning at work

While it takes an investment of time and resources, driving a broader cultural change in your organization is the best way to ensure digital adoption and get the most out of your people.

The companies that survive the turbulent times ahead will be the ones that hire employees and invest as much time in training them as they do in hiring new blood.

Programs like Workplace Learning Week should serve as an ongoing reminder throughout the year of the importance of this.

That said, training is no longer something that should only happen one week a year, or even quarterly. It should be woven into the fabric of your business.

A cross-functional approach ensures that gaps are identified and internal knowledge is leveraged.

The business world is changing and organizations will have to manage and adapt their organizations in the face of unprecedented challenges.

The market is difficult; With Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union and regulatory changes such as the introduction of GDPR having serious data protection implications, business leaders will need to ensure they benefit from the technology available to them.

If they are to gain a competitive advantage, organizations simply cannot afford to overlook their most important asset – not the technology itself, but their people.

Interested in knowing more about this topic? Read Employee Learning and Development: Four Tips for Success.

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