How to give your employees skill building benefits
Employee development is about more than picking up a few skills. It's also about increasing employee morale and building a strong business. In your company's day-to-day routine, professional development activities may not seem like a priority. But it’s important that your employees continue to learn and grow professionally. According to go2HR, 40% of people who receive poor employee training leave within the first year. Employee development not only benefits the individual, but it will benefit your company as well.
Here are some ways to build your team into a powerful, resourceful, connected, engaged and committed group.
Recognize Accomplishments Employee appreciation is very important. According to a study by the APA, 93% of employees who feel valued are more motivated to do their best work. Keeping employees happy and appreciated is an easy way to encourage growth. They’ll feel excited about the prospect of learning more, because you recognize what they’ve already done.
Allow for Growth Within the Company Strive for a company that has upward mobility. If an employee is doing well, allow for promotion opportunities that will give them a sense of accomplishment. Even if your company doesn’t have any higher positions at the moment, consider assigning your employee additional responsibilities. It will make them feel like they are succeeding — because they are!
Prioritize Professional Skill Development Taking the time to focus on specific skills that could use work — and actually working on them — will help your team become better professionals. Maybe your employees would benefit from a public speaking expert coming in, or they could use a workshop to work on their writing skills. Honing in on employee development is not only important for them as an individual — your company will benefit from their improvements.
Encourage Outside Class Attendance Employees can — and should — work on themselves outside of the workplace as well. Push your employees to attend classes, sessions, or conferences focusing on essential skills that are linked to your industry. Afterwards, encourage employees to discuss what they learned with their peers.
Encourage Networking Most people think of networking as a necessary evil for finding a new job. But staying connected and knowing others in the business will help your employee grow in their role over time. Also, your employees’ networks can benefit your company as well. Who knows when a certain connection will come in handy for a business deal, or to fill a needed position in the office.
Implement Cross-Departmental Training Allow space in your company for employees to learn from different departments. They’ll understand the inner workings of your company better, and fresh eyes might notice something about that specific department that should be changed. Give them easy ways to learn from each other even if it is just making curry or learning how to plant an herb garden, all skills are good skills.
Give Them Resources Make sure your employees know where to find valuable information. Whether you have an online database of professional organizations they can join, classes they can attend, or you host monthly “lunch and learns,” your employees should have the tools to know how they can move forward.
Offer Tuition Reimbursement If relevant to your industry, consider tuition reimbursement (or partial tuition reimbursement) for your employees’ continued skill learning. It’s a fabulous benefit that will not only attract the best and the brightest talent, but will also allow your employees to grow and learn.
Be a Role Model If you're engaging in some of the above activities, your employees will be more likely to as well. Make professional development a norm at your company. Be a role model for your team.
What Does Skill Sharing have to do with Corporate (Business) Resiliency?
Now more than ever, business leaders, corporate directors, and investors are evaluating business resiliency and the skill sets required to respond to unforeseen disruptions in a way that results in positive outcomes for their business.
Business resilience requires management teams to understand the ability of their employees to identify critical business functions, prioritize, adapt in the face of adversity and quickly respond with solutions that are creative and innovative and ultimately protect business assets.
According to Mckinsey, many of the “soft skills” which and needed for business success and build corporate resiliency, can be acquired and nurtured through skill sharing and skill learning. These include communication, empathy, curiosity, positivity, problem solving, initiative - taking, adaptability and teaching ability. Al Siebert, in the Resiliency Advantage, writes that “highly resilient people are flexible, adapt to new circumstances quickly and thrive in constant change.”
Skill sharing provides an opportunity to improve communication skills, practice creativity and innovation, adapt to new circumstances, create a culture and mindset of continuous learning, and develop leadership.
The Gig Economy and Soft Skills, why they matter
While College gives you the education needed to prepare you for a career, the curriculum you are taught may not be enough to prepare you to work in the gig economy says Laurie Pickard, author of Don’t Pay for Your MBA: The Faster, Cheaper, Better Way to Get the Business Education You Need. While education is important, you will need skills that are relevant to the needs to of a market where more than 35% or workers are freelancers. These are soft skills.
With this shift of the workforce towards being freelancers and micro-entrepreneurs, soft skills like relationship, communication and leadership skills are becoming increasingly important.
The gig economy is creating different types of workers and we need to continuously develop and refresh skills that will help us succeed in this new eco system. online skills that are available on Skillit.com can help you build the skills required for your success in the economy.
The future of work is skills
The World Economic Forum estimates that 65% of children entering primary school will end up in jobs that don’t yet exist. Rapid technology development, rising education costs and a changing workforce are shifting the skills required for today’s workforce.
1.3 million students went to university last year and most of them will leave with loads of debt and without a job. Until recently, degrees were a designation of competency and a tool to ensure a great career path. Today, the workforce needs more agility and skill to succeed.
Companies are realizing that closing this skills gap is key. Both IBM and Apple are investing in skills training for employees to help them build and maintain the skills needed to remain competitive and get the most of its products and services.
Apple is focusing particularly on skills that facilitate learning and creativity. Notes and Chords, GarageBand, Sketching Ideas in Notes and Photo Editing Techniques are just a few of the sessions they are now offering.
What skills do you need for your future job? Find one today at Skillit.com.
Older workers are the economy’s hidden treasure
A decade ago, my mom was forced into retirement at 53 when the factory she worked at closed its doors. Even though she was forced out of her job earlier than she planned, she was lucky. She walked away with a good pension and benefits, but she got bored - quickly. She assumed she would have been working much longer.
In North America, boomers (aged 60-65 ish) are the fastest-growing demographic. Too often we associate this age group with slowing down and heading into their “leisure” years. This may be true but they still have a lot to offer.
Today, many people have a new view of what retirement is and this is a huge opportunity for workplaces and the world at large. In fact, an increasing number of people aged 50+ are starting businesses.
A growing body of research suggests, given the opportunity, people in their second half of life can be as creative, innovative and entrepreneurial as their younger peers. In addition, they bring more life and work experience to tap into - think Robert De Niro in The Intern.
Too often society discriminates based on age. At Skillit, we are grateful for all the people, at any age, who share their experience and passions.