What has a global pandemic taught us, as employers, about the way we deal with skilling our employees?
The current workplace is changing at such a fast pace that it has us turning like weather vanes in high winds when it comes to dealing with keeping our human resources’ skills relevant. The past two years have seen "The Great Resignation" phenomenon where a large number of people have left their jobs and are rethinking their career paths. In an article titled The 'Great Resignation' Is Really the ’Great Discontent', Vipula Gandhi and Jennifer Robison are saying that this phenomena may have been exacerbated by COVID-19 but it was already in place before. Employers were blaming pay issues and lack of interesting incentives. But when people are leaving their jobs at a moment of great uncertainty, employers have to do more soul searching and look reality in the face. Gandhi and Robison add that "The pandemic changed the way people work and how they view work. Many are reflecting on what a quality job feels like, and nearly half are willing to quit to find one." In that whirlwind, "The Great Resignation", where upskilling, reskilling and personalized training was on everybody’s mind, has already morphed into the "Great Reevaluation" where upskilling, reskilling and personalized training is now on everybody's lips.
Great business leaders say that innovation often comes out of a crisis situation. Like them, you need to be agile and proactive enough to put a plan in motion if you want to keep your employees engaged, motivated and still wanting to invest their career in your company. The results of the Gallup's State of the Global Workplace: 2021 Report[i] should come as no surprise when it indicates that "Globally, employee engagement decreased by 2 points, from 22% in 2019 to 20% in 2020, following a steady rise over the last decade (North America stands at 34%).[ii]. Let's keep in mind that the majority of people have seen their working environment turned upside down and a lot of employees had to develop new skills on the fly. Many companies had to revisit and adapt their business models to the new reality of sanitary measures and social distancing. How does a manager adapt to this new way of communicating and managing? How do you, as an employer, keep your team motivated and your company from falling victim to the ripple effects of COVID-19 fatigue so it doesn’t turn into COVID-19 PTSD?
How does HR deal with hiring and upskilling new employees without never having met them in person?
Not addressing the issue that 65% of employees are not engaged will end up being very costly for a lot of businesses. As we saw in our previous article Can an LMS system help drive employee engagement?[iii], employees are now more interested in working environments that offer skilling and upskilling programs than any other types of incentives. Your plan must then go a step further and review your learning processes and make sure that the training programs you are offering are also personalized and easily accessible. After all, human resources are your most important resources.
What does upskilling, reskilling and personalizing learning entail? Short-term, middle-term and long-term planning to make sure that your training programs stay aligned with your corporate strategy. When onboarding new employees, especially the upcoming generation, it is important to have an integrated learning program that will give them the skills they require to perform their tasks efficiently, to remain compliant, as well as cross-train them to be ready to face a crisis situation. Circumstances often cause companies to pivot on a dime, while tasks and tools are constantly evolving. Your training programs should be ready to reskill your employees with new tools to adapt to their new roles if you want your company to remain viable, especially during periods of change.
It is equally important that employees are aware of the opportunities you can offer them for growth through your company's core values, vision and mission. In order to deliver on that promise, you need to have a personalized learning program that will allow them to upskill, move towards their goals, stay engaged and motivated, and feel like they are part of the success of your company. It is a known fact that the success of your employees reflects on the success and sustainability of your company.
Upskilling, reskilling and personalized learning also mean that the communication channels must remain open between management, talent and leadership to ensure that the learning program keeps evolving while meeting the needs of the business and vice-versa.
Upskilling, reskilling and personalized learning also means that you need to make sure you have the proper platform to train, monitor and manage your talent
Now may be a good time to reassess the tools you are using. Knowing what you know now, would you be prepared for another "great disruption"? Is your LMS system still relevant with your current needs and does it allow space for growth? Is it adapted to the needs of the new generation of employees and does it offer different types of learning technologies? Are you spending way too much time managing the different components of your learning tools instead of working on planning and alignment strategies?
All these questions may lead you to look at the benefits of a new integrated learning solution like the Captivo cloud platform LMS. Providing an integrated learning ecosystem in your employees daily workflow through easily accessible dashboards will help keep them informed about the opportunities available to them to stay relevant and move forward and upward in your company. An integrated learning system also allows to monitor employees learning activities and follow their evolution, especially when you need to make sure that certification an compliance requirements don't expire. It allows the leadership team to develop seamless training programs using innovative tools such as video, micro-learning, artificial intelligence and augmented reality that are better adapted to the needs of your employees. And, very importantly, it allows management and Human Resources to follow their employees development.
What can a pandemic teach us? That strong and engaged leaders are essential to get through thick and thin. They will give employees a sense of purpose and they will guide and motivate them towards common goals. So not only do we need to engage our employees but we also have to give our managers the means to become great leaders. The strategies and the tools we will use are of utmost importance to help them become the best they can be. And that is why the words upskilling, reskilling and personalized training are on everybody's lips.
[i]Gallup, State of the Global Workplace 2021 Report; Discover how employees around the world experienced life and work in 2020, ed. 2021.
[ii] Gallup, State of the Global Workplace 2021 Report; Discover how employees around the world experienced life and work in 2020, ed. 2021, p. 5.
[iii]Truedeau, Maxime, Captivo Learning, https://blog.captivolearning.com/fr/un-lms-peut-il-contribuer-à-lengagement-des-employés, March 10, 2022