Creating a Workforce for the Next Decade
Automation and disruption have become the norm across multiple industries thanks to technology advances. Have you experienced these changes in your business? If so, you may be concerned about the skills your employees possess to keep up with changes and remain with your company.
Your employees are your business’s greatest asset. It’s important to prioritize the role you and the rest of your business’s leadership team play in encouraging skills development with your employees. When your team has key skills to adapt to changes in the workplace, you can feel secure that you have the workforce you need for sustainability.
Employees want to learn and grow; it’s a basic human desire. To retain the employees and top talent you’ve invested in, leaders need to set parameters, provide opportunities, and guide employees to develop the skills and knowledge required of tomorrow’s workforce. Along with those specific to your industry, there are five key skills a prepared workforce need:
- Analytical Thinking
- Informational Analysis
- Problem Solving
- Investigative Thinking
These five skills will allow your employees to adapt to industry changes as they occur. In reference to upskilling workers, the PwC report, Upskilling 2.0: business-led, people-powered, results-driven, points out, “It’s about helping them grow with their jobs.” There are ways you, as a leader, can ensure employees acquire skills aligned to the technology and advancements being conceived and developed every day.
Employers need to have clear processes in place to for employees to have a pathway to upskill for the fast paced industry disruption caused by technology, innovation, and artificial intelligence. Workers need to have easy access to resources including:
- Up-to-date, industry-specific policies affecting your organization
- Industry-wide innovation tactics
- Government regulation updates
- Customer engagement methodologies
- Modern sales strategies
- Metric tabulation tools to determine ROI and customer satisfaction
- Product development advancements
- Evolving technology advancements
When easily accessible research and modern methodologies are paired with permission to utilize newly discovered skills and knowledge, employees will be more eager to take ownership of projects and responsibilities to transform the company’s products and services capabilities.
Employees’ access to leadership and management skills development is a fundamental element for executive leadership to invest in. To upskill your workforce and remain competitive, executive leaders and organizations need to establish a dedicated budget for employee professional development.
Leaders can maintain budget line item expenses for professional development by utilizing technology, open source educational tools, and the software and application systems in which you’ve already invested. You must enable your employees to explore new usages of the systems your organization already has to keep costs down. The managers and leaders in your organization are often in great positions to serve as mentors and coaches to employees. You can learn more about this valuable asset by reading our blog post Business Leadership.
None of this goes without a benefit to your organization and you, as a leader. Professional development opportunities lead to a more engaged workforce. Engaged employees help your business develop higher quality products and services, obtain and retain more clientele, and increase profitability. The Gallup State of the American Workplace Report points out that, “employees who are engaged are more likely to stay with their organization, reducing overall turnover and the costs associated with it.” As an added incentive to work to engage employees, Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483 billion – $605 billion each year in lost productivity.
Business leaders from small and large organizations and across many industries are concerned with their ability to maintain a workforce during this period of constant change. But if they can commit to upskilling their employees, elevating their engagement with the organization, and guiding them with clear processes and standard operating procedures, leaders can maintain their sustainability, profitability, and commitment to their community.
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