The constant stream of new technologies is putting a premium on the skills of today’s workers. Further, the digital skills shortage is being felt in all sectors as a result of the Great Resignation that followed the pandemic.
Capgemini SE CEO Aiman Ezzat said at the World Economic Forum 2022 that corporations aren’t doing enough to facilitate the “huge reskilling of the digital economy” needed to keep up with consumer demand.
In order to maintain their position in the market, businesses around the world need to rapidly increase the skills of their employees. Businesses that have reached “digital maturity” benefit from nimbler operations and more productive workers since their personnel have embraced technological change.
Employees, meanwhile, are searching for progressive businesses that can provide them with opportunities to learn new digital skills and improve in their careers. Therefore, it is crucial that you not only determine the expertise needed in-house, but also locate the knowledge and training gaps that exist inside your organization.
Here are six tried-and-true methods for building a firm and a staff that can take use of digital technologies to boost productivity and the bottom line.
1. Continuous Professional Development
Your staff will have the opportunity to obtain certifications throughout their careers if they participate in continuous professional development (CPD), which goes beyond simple skills training.
Why, then, should you put more of an emphasis on delivering professional certifications for your workers rather than more traditional training programs?
If you want your employees to have the abilities necessary to beat out the competitors in their sector, you should force them to finish training programs that are highly recognized.
Your digital capabilities can be completely transformed by getting professional certificates, which also provide a level of education that cannot be obtained through many other types of education.
Some people have the false belief that just because you are offering a certification, it must be all-encompassing and designed to teach everyone a variety of digital abilities. This is not the case. However, one of the benefits of continuing professional development is that it enables you to equip your team with specialized abilities that are tailored to meet the requirements of your particular organization.
For instance, we assisted IBM in developing a unique certification procedure for their sales force and were a part of that process. The certification process was designed to teach IBM’s staff how to tackle the specific issues that the company was facing, as opposed to delivering a broad program. Because of this, the digital sales force at IBM witnessed a 7% improvement in their win rate and a 37% reduction in the number of days it took to close deals.
Microlearning is a form of learning that is even more focused than CPD. It entails providing your personnel with brief training sessions on a variety of specialized abilities.
This will enable you to target key areas of concern or bridge the skills gap in your workforce without investing an excessive amount of resources or having essential workers take an excessive amount of time away from their duties.
This is another method of learning that is very adaptable. It’s possible that you have access to a library of microlearning courses and can pick and choose which ones are essential for different positions inside your firm. For instance, marketers may require training in social media in order to be able to use and exploit various channels in order to engage prospects.
You may cut down on wasted time and boost overall output by instructing workers on the aspects of their jobs that are most important. Through the use of microlearning, you are able to provide employees with access to training whenever it is required of them. New training modules become available to staff members when they take on more duties.
If your firm decides to make investments in new technology or alters the way it conducts business, you may discover that you need to recruit workers who possess new capabilities.
On the other hand, when you make an effort to recruit them, you might find that there aren’t enough technically capable people to go around.
According to research conducted by Gartner, technological competencies are “no longer entrenched in IT,” but rather “need to be diffused across organizational functions and businesses and linked with soft skills to ensure success in digital transformation.”
You undoubtedly already have bright people working for your business who haven’t been given the opportunity to participate in the training they require to fill the newly created skill gap at your company. Putting some of these workers through additional training will allow you to get technical ability at a lower cost. After all, they are already ingrained in the culture of your organization and possess information that is invaluable because to the role that they already hold.
The benefits of retraining employees for positions in your organization are obvious, and they include avoiding competition, attracting technical or digital talent, and maintaining loyalty to your organization. All of these benefits can be attained by providing employees with the opportunity to update their skills. On the other hand, you can’t afford to place all of your attention on the employees with the least technically gifted.
4. Update Your Experts
Some of the workers who are part of your workforce already have a strong understanding of digital technology and take initiative to seek out additional training and marketable skills on their own. Even while these workers contribute significantly to the success of your company, there is a risk that you will lose them if you do not provide them with the opportunity to advance their professional expertise.
According to the 2022 Workplace Learning report published by LinkedIn, employees who believe that their skills are not being put to good use in their current job are ten times more likely to be looking for a new job than those employees who believe that their skills are being put to good use in their current job. This demonstrates how vital it is to value your workers in order to encourage employee retention and to keep talented employees working for your company.
According to the same report, the three primary areas of concentration for learning and development (L&D) programs in the year 2022 will be leadership and development, upskilling or reskilling, and digital upskilling or digital transformation. Your HR or L&D crew needs to make sure to nurture your most expert staff members in addition to focusing on updating employees who are behind in their training while you may be concentrating on updating employees who are behind in their training. This will assist strengthen loyalty and hone talents, both of which will be to your advantage.
According to Allied Market Research, companies spend more than $300 billion annually on employee training and development.
5. Peer Support Programs
Your strategy to improve the skills of your personnel should not exclude opportunities for internal training. If your company has employees that are proficient in several digital platforms, you should take advantage of their expertise by instituting a peer support program.
Not only are your employees capable of exchanging their skills with one another, but they are also already familiar with the workplace and have the ability to make the training really relevant to your company.
There is yet another reason why peer support programs are a good idea. A poll conducted by Capterra with HR experts indicated that 49% of companies plan to raise their spending on learning and development in 2022. This number is up from 41% in 2021, representing a 20% rise year over year.
However, if you are experiencing difficulties with your finances, an increase of this kind may not be feasible for you; thus, you may consider enrolling in a program that provides help from peers. It is more efficient use of resources to train new employees from inside the company rather than to bring in trainers from outside the company.
You may be able to improve the skills of a greater section of your workforce at a cheaper overall cost if you first bring your staff members with the least amount of experience up to the same level as the rest of your team.
6. Offer New Career Paths
There is a possibility that technological developments or changes, such as the rise of artificial intelligence or the rise of automation, will cause your business to close off some of the career routes, but it should also open up new ones.
When you invest in delivering those options early on, it might help you keep staff members rather than lose them to other opportunities. In light of the fact that we are currently living in an age in which it is possible to work in a hybrid capacity as well as from a remote location, it is reasonable to expect that flexibility in the workplace as well as opportunities for employees to advance their careers, provided that appropriate training is made available.
Consider AT&T, which encourages and helps its employees explore new avenues of professional development. The training programs of the corporation had reached all 210,000 of its employees by the year 2021, and they had established a culture of lifelong education and skill improvement. Through AT&T University, the company provides individualized training, mentoring, and career development programs. Additionally, the company invested $158 million in direct employee training and professional development programs and delivered 15 million hours of training in 2021, which averaged out to 43 hours of training for each employee.
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