Information becomes obsolete over time. For your company to remain competitive, your employees should always be up-to-date on new developments in their areas; continually improving their skills. Simply because the training sessions conducted two or more years ago are most likely outdated and no longer relevant to the current business situation. And considering conversations about the future of work, this is truer now than ever before. A future where the rise of automation and AI will replace existing jobs with newer, less predictable ones will require a workforce that can learn different sets of skills quickly to address skill gaps that may arise.
Unfortunately, both academic institutions and companies on a global scale are beginning to fall behind in preparing prospective and existing workforces for the future. Findings from Randstad’s survey found that “67 percent of U.S. employees feel they need more training and skills to stay up-to-date”. So while individuals need to personally refresh their skills, companies should also help prepare their employees for future work skills, and offer them career development opportunities. Especially, as current job search criteria extend further than just a stable job with good income. Job seekers are actively seeking out meaningful jobs that offer them the possibility to grow and expand their knowledge.
So what does this mean for the future of employee training?
It means that onboarding training is merely not enough. As team leaders, supervisors, and managers, your responsibilities don’t stop there. Training alone, according to the American Psychological Association Survey of Full- and Part-time employees isn’t enough to increase employee motivation and satisfaction at the workplace.
Have you ever wondered why companies like Southwest Airlines and Virgin always receive awards for best customer service, and as a result, satisfied and returning customers? The key is putting employees first. To train and offer your employees development opportunities. Daniel Wentland states that when organizations build a culture that focuses on their people and invests in their future, they will be more competitive long-term when compared to those that “view employees as mere costs to be reduced in times of trouble.”
So do you want to help your employees feel motivated, establish loyalty towards your company, and recommend your firm to others? Here are three concrete ways you can support them:
Offer training and development opportunities. Identify what skills would support the organization’s goals as well as help your employees with their career plans. Make sure that training is an ongoing process, not just a one-time event. And also remember to encourage your employees to keep themselves updated with new skills.
Offer them opportunities to apply their learnings. Practice makes perfect! Give your employees new responsibilities, or more time for side projects where they can put their new skills to use.
Recognize your employees’ self-development efforts. Celebrate your employees’ initiatives to learn new skills. Don’t forget to praise the managers that are doing their part in helping employees develop.
While there is still a lot of speculation on the future of work, and what it means regarding the skills needed to succeed, you can be certain that the future of work will require your team to be flexible and adaptive to changing demands. So be prepared by establishing a comprehensive HR strategy, that promotes training and development, as well as supports your employees’ growth.