At one time, workers could expect a lot from their employers. A company can provide a pension and good health care, and it is concerned with the development and learning of its employees.
The worker-employer relationship was a long-term commitment that could last for decades. Now that has changed.
âBefore, people joined an organization, and that trained them and prepared them for the next stage of the organization,â says Karen Hebert-Maccaro, CEO of Babson Executive Education. âThey would invest in them. Organizations have protected employees throughout their lives.
The changing nature of work has resulted in many adjustments for employees. No longer having pensions to depend on, the responsibility for retirement savings now rests primarily on them. Good health coverage is no longer a guarantee either.
And if they want their skills to remain relevant in today’s ever-changing marketplace, they need to seriously think about continuing their education on their own. In the latest issue of Babson Magazine, the ‘Lifelong Learning’ feature examines how education cannot end with graduation and how Babson helps students and professionals keep their careers vibrant. throughout their life. For example, the College recently launched a fully online MBA.
However, as Hebert-Maccaro is quick to point out, the changing nature of work has repercussions, not only for employees, but also for employers. If employers want to be competitive in a world where technological disruption can disrupt entire industries, they simply cannot give up on employee development. âOrganizations recognize that they need to invest in their workforce, otherwise they will end up becoming obsolete,â she says.
Why employee development is important
Businesses are under great pressure. Costs, including health care benefits, continue to rise, as do shareholder expectations. Under these requirements, they may not make employee development a priority. âThey make tough decisions about what they can deliver,â Hebert-Maccaro says. “They compromise.”
But not investing in workers comes with serious risks. Good employees can leave because they don’t feel valued. Other workers may find themselves unable to do their jobs as efficiently as before due to technological advancements. Think developers untrained in the latest programming language or marketers unfamiliar with digital marketing techniques. âCompanies run the risk of affecting their products and services,â Hebert-Maccaro explains.
She relays the classic anecdote on the HR executive who launches a financial director on the need for employee development. “What if we invest in them and they leave?” Asks the CFO. The person from the HR counters: “What if we didn’t invest in them and they stay?”
Start slow, build gradually
Individual employees, on the other hand, also face risks if they do not take the time to update their skills. âYou have to constantly evolve and adapt. It is recognized that people in the workforce are not able to rely on a narrow set of skills, âsays Hebert-Maccaro. âIf you want to be competitive for the next job, you have to refresh yourself. If people aren’t reinventing themselves, they’re probably already irrelevant. “
For such people, however, the thought of learning something new, let alone rebuilding and reinventing an entire career, can seem daunting. HÃ©bert-Maccaro advises them to take a breather. Learning should not be about piling up as much information as possible in as short a time as possible.
“What if we invest in them and they leave?” Asks the CFO. The person from the HR counters: “What if we didn’t invest in them and they stay?”
âDon’t try to boil the ocean,â she said. âYou start out slow and build gradually. It’s about how you continually engage. Hebert-Maccaro says employees should choose a reasonable learning goal and work consistently toward that goal. Once this is accomplished, choose another goal. âThe key is lifelong learning, lifelong learning,â she says.
At Babson Executive Education, a wide selection of open and personalized enrollment programs are available for individuals and businesses, and Hebert-Maccaro plans to continue adding more offerings in the future. She believes that all workers should have an academic partner, like Babson, whom they can rely on to learn.
âEvery alumnus of this institution should see us as a lifelong partner,â she says. âWe already have this great connection. We should be the resource they come to.
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