By nature, businesses grow and evolve to best meet the needs of the industry or customers that they serve. Often, however, businesses implement these changes without training their staff, which can mean that implementation is prolonged or ineffective, resulting in far from the desired results. In some cases, when the business model shifts dramatically, businesses may even abandon their current roster of employees with layoffs to build a workforce from scratch that is better suited to work in the new environment.
But what exactly is holding companies back from reskilling their employees to work in this new environment? Below, we examine just a few of the problems that companies most frequently encounter and what you can do to pave the way for a successful upskilling strategy.
Don’t know what you have ‘till it’s gone:
Many companies are blissfully unaware of the talent that hides among their ranks. They don’t do a great job at logging the various skills that folks have upon entering the job or that they may accrue during their tenure and instead focus on their talents in so far as it applies to their current job responsibilities. As a result, companies may skip over a candidate that is qualified for a changing role because said candidate does not necessarily demonstrate these skills in their current role.
While businesses are typically well versed in keeping tabs on changes to their industry or customer needs or even ground-breaking changes implemented by their competition! and are able to plan ahead for implementing new systems or technologies, most are woefully under prepared when it comes to identifying the evolving needs for their workforce. Therefore, when a new change comes down the pike, they don’t have the infrastructure in place to know what training their employees require or have any clue how to deliver these services.
Following on from the previous point regarding the lack of planning comes a lack of understanding regarding the power of education to transform your workforce. Some companies are reluctant to invest in their own employees, afraid that if they provide training to achieve additional certifications or skill sets, that those same employees will take those new tricks and jump ship. However, studies suggest that providing this training actually reduces your turnover, with employees not only excited to use their new skills at your job, but also motivated to perform better because they see that you have invested in them and believe that you are invested in their professional development.
When it comes to the task of providing the upskilling to your employees, there is certainly more than one way to skin a cat! You can send them out for conferences, teaching days or even have a trainer come to the office, but many companies are increasingly signing on for virtual training opportunities. While this gives employees the flexibility to join the program when they can, and even from home if they need, it can prove tricky for businesses that are not exactly tech savvy. In order to participate in these online training opportunities, you generally need to have reliable computers, as well as those that can operate screen sharing technology and include a camera and a microphone at a minimum. In short, if you do not have these tools, it can make training your employees’ cost-prohibitive and far from efficient.
When it comes to reskilling your workforce, do not underestimate the importance of getting your leadership on board with the plan. When managers are not aware of the direction you plan on taking the company, they cannot anticipate what they will need to do to get your employees prepared for the challenge. Similarly, if they are well versed in what’s coming down the pike but are blissfully unaware of the opportunities for upskilling, they are unlikely to be able to correctly identify who is eligible for training and what training they might need.
Addressing these five key foibles will go a long way towards preparing your company to reskill their workforce, but remember, you do not have to do it alone! If you are an Abel HR member, we will be happy to help you look critically at your business and determine what your learning needs are now and in the future. Further, we have an in-house staff poised and ready to compile the best in class teaching opportunities for your workers – whether in person or online, and can even help you trouble-shoot if you’re lacking in the technology department but still want to have access to online learning opportunities. Just give us a call at 609.860.0400 to discuss your options.