It’s a Skills-Based World: Talent Development Strategy
Updated: Jun 26, 2022
As we examine the economic toll of COVID-19, its impact on the world of work has been more severe than previously estimated. As the global economy changes and recovers from significant world events, an increased urgency to upskill and reskill has defined the job market.
With industries put on hold and jobs made obsolete overnight, the pandemic has been a time of reflection for many individuals who realise the importance of developing their skills and career mobility. As the market needs continue to change, large corporations such as JP Morgan and Verizon invest millions in their employee development programmes to upskill and reskill their talent internally. Successful human resource strategies must now emphasise skill-based hiring and continuous employee development as the economy demands more highly skilled individuals.
In LinkedIn’s annual Learning Workplace Learning Report, statistics highlighted an increasing emphasis on employee skills development. Surveys with the C-suite revealed that top of mind priorities in rank order are upskilling and reskilling (59%), leadership and management (53%), and virtual onboarding (33%), with digital fluency and resilience as power skills required in 2021.
So, why is it essential to invest in talent development?
The ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ is imminent, according to the World Economic Forum. Tech trends and developments are accelerating at unprecedented speed, demanding digital skills such as data science, data storage technologies, tech support and digital literacy. By 2022, 54% of all employees will require significant upskilling, while a quarter of jobs are at a high risk of automation by 2030, The Brookings Institute reported. With the speed of technological advancements, not upskilling is no longer an option for employees.
Helping your employees gain new skills and knowledge and embedding learning into the overall human resource strategy will also show that your organisation prioritises employees’ development needs, encouraging retention and progression within the company. Corporations such as Amazon has committed $1.2 billion to provide 300,000 employees with access to education and skills training programs through 2025 as part of Amazon’s Upskilling 2025 pledge. Helping employees gain critical skills also develops their career pathway in different areas, grooming your organisation’s next leaders. After all, the best talent is already in your company.
Here are some essential tips for growing your employee development strategy:
Create a Defined Training and Development Plan
Employees want to feel supported in their work. Seeing a clear and realistic path of progression in your company motivates and encourages them to work through challenges in their role and keep upskilling to continue contributing to the company. As commonly practised in larger corporations, having a well-structured employee evaluation plan will provide all parties with clarity and information regarding their developmental goals. This gives the employees clear personalised goals to work towards and a focus for supported action by managers. Having a structured employee development plan is essential for companies of any size to provide goals and feedback to employees and managers.
Support your talent
Everyone wants to work for a company that supports them as an individual, professionally and personally. While most employee development plans are focused on making team members better workers, in some cases, they also grow as individuals through the process. Investing in soft skills such as communication and conflict resolution that are focused on holistic growth. Other company benefits such as sabbaticals, paid family leave, company retreats and mental health support will also help your team feel supported in their lives, which strengthens their bond to the company.
Employee Development Methods
Different approaches should be used to achieve the specific desired goals and areas of development as stated in the employee development plan. Expectations for long term and short-term goals can differ widely, so organisations must have the agility to provide the necessary support tools as part of the plan.
Methods may include:
Coaching from external partners to groom managers and other senior management
Improve communication for all parties
Mutual learning and development
360 degrees feedback to gain perspectives from different people
It helps your team understand different role functions
training your staff to work in several different roles or tasks outside their everyday responsibilities.
Develop their skills and agility
4. Job shadowing
An opportunity to learn from one another
Explore different job roles within the organisation
5. Job rotation
Enhance career development
Prevents job boredom or burnout
6. Training and Development
Identify gaps in the future and present capabilities of the company
Ensure that employees personally invest (time, money and energy) into their training to increase motivation and commitment
Allow employees to decide on the courses they would like to take
Make sure that the skills learnt in the training will be utilised in 2-3 weeks
7. Psychometric tests and Assessments
Ensure that your employee’s skills are up to date and of standard
With skills-based development, training is often the most common way of upskilling employees.
Steps to Creating an Employee Development Plan:
Get Executive Support
Determine Organisations Goals
Identify Skill Gaps
Examine Departmental and Individual Employee Goals
Define a Development Plan
Monitor and Refine the Plan
Developing your company’s skills and capabilities in the digital age is now compulsory to compete in the current fast-paced world. The digitalisation of work now requires additional training strategies to enhance learning agility, transferability of skills and opportunities to explore adjacent, in-demand skills. An area of skills that is necessary now is digital literacy and transformations. Developing your employee’s skillset will ensure the continued success of your company.
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