Employees' training represents a crucial challenge that organizations have to tackle quickly
We all know how COVID-19 has impacted every aspects of our employees’ lives, redefined their living and working environments, and for some, had them reassess their career path. An article in the Washington Post stated that “nearly a third of US workers under 40 considered changing career during the pandemic.”[i] In light of that statement as an employer, how are you planning to survive pandemic recovery and make sure you keep your employees engaged? Do you have the proper skilled people? How agile are you at attracting new skilled employees in order to replace the ones that are gone? What is your strategy for retaining the skilled employees you already have?
There’s no denying that companies that were already onboard with collaborative technologies and security had stronger structures in place for a seamless transition to confinement. Almost two years later, employees are slowly returning to the workplace, although a great number of them still working from home would appreciate a hybrid schedule, making it unlikely for anything to return to what it was before COVID-19. And, with the Baby Boomers retiring at a fast pace, a lot of companies will find themselves facing corporate amnesia if they don’t get onboard with training and upskilling their employees to stay relevant and allow for the growth of both employees and companies.
"New normal" means new ways of learning
In 2004, Lou Carbone rocked the world with his new concept of Experience Engineering [ii], on the heels of Pine and Gilmore who introduced the concept of Experience Economy[iii] where companies had to rethink the way they were managing and designing their customer experience. The idea was to exceed client’s expectations based on strong core values in order to create an emotional connection with the clients and help build their loyalty. Strong quality management programs were put in place to manage real estate and processes in order to get the customers’ buy-in. However, human resources programs would mostly get breadcrumbs. You made sure you hired people that had the required qualifications and competences, but it took a while before an emphasis was put on their communication skills, their attitude and performance. In other words, the company’s core values did not necessarily trickle down to the personnel.
Baby boomers retiring in massive numbers and Millennials and Gen Zs coming into the work force have helped tilt the balance. Labor shortage brought on all sorts of incentives that would make companies compete to hire personnel according to their needs: insurance plans, bonus programs, better salaries, longer vacations, etc. But the new work force is looking for environments that will adapt to their wants; incentives that appeals to the human being instead of the employee. A recent Gallup/Amazon Report on The American Upskilling Study, [iv] indicates that 59% of US employees are interested in participating in training, skilling and upskilling programs that could help advance their careers. The 2021 Gallup survey says that the 18-24 deem upskilling more important than incentives such as paid vacations. What seems to be appealing to the younger generation is the perceived value of the offering.
“The revolution, which means a turning around of the status quo – means that humans are no longer going to change to fit the business requirements, but instead business is going to prosper by more carefully harnessing human nature.” [v]
This is forcing companies to completely recalibrate themselves and adjust to the new challenges of hiring and retaining employees. Engaging a conversation with our customers, Emyode found out that companies who are prospering in the face of those challenges are the ones that have transformed or are in the process of transforming themselves into learning organizations. Human resources departments and leadership teams are finally recognizing that it is more beneficial for a company to hire for attitude and performance, and train for skills instead of the other way around. The challenge that you are now facing is that you need to offer training that is flexible and personalized; programs that consider the skills your employees want to develop, balanced with the skills that are compliant and will also contribute to your business needs down the line. This is where Captivo may become your best ally.
Adopt a Learning Management System (LMS) to upskill your workforce in a smart and effective way
We talked earlier about quality management and how important it is to put a system in place that will monitor the initiatives you are developing for your task force to evolve. A good LMS should comprise:
- A centralized management tool so your HR and management teams can easily put in place and monitor compliance of individual and corporate learnings while building personalized learning objective paths;
- The tools necessary for your leadership team to develop seamless employees' training programs that align their skills and interests with your company strategy;
- The tools your training development department requires to create contents such as learning activities, evaluations and surveys;
- The delivery tools flexible enough to generate formal, informal and social learning, hybrid training, micro-learning, etc.;
- Equally important for all parties involved is the user experience that will be enhanced by personalized training programs, easily accessible dashboards, augmented reality, gamification, etc.
Keep in mind that Learning Management Systems help to spread your core values clearly to all your employees therefore engaging them emotionally to want to take part in the growth of your company, making them feel they are in control of their future and that the company allows them to reach their full potential. That is the perceived value for them.
Learning Management System (LMS) are here to help make sure no one falls into a crack and jeopardizes the company’s sustainability, especially when it comes to compliance training. But the first step to take comes from your own willingness to engage in the transformation process. Executive sponsorship and joint workshops are a few examples of the actions you can take for successful change management.
And we, at Emyode, think it is crucial for us to be part and guide you through that process as well.
[i] Long, Heather and Clement, Scott, The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/08/16/us-workers-want-career-change/, August 26, 2021
[ii] CARBONE, LOU Clued In, Financial Time Prentice Hall Books ed., 272 pages.
[iii] PINE, II & GILMORE, B, Welcome to the Experience Economy, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 76 Issue 4, July August 1998, p.97-105.
[iv] The American Upskilling Study: Empowering Workers for the Jobs of Tomorrow.pdf, https://www.gallup.com/analytics/354374/the-american-upskilling-study.aspx, Ed. Gallup, 2021, p. 7.
[v] IRVINE, Derek, https://www.tlnt.com/5-human-truths-to-help-make-your-workplace-more-human/, July 8, 2015