Thriving or surviving? How ongoing L&D is key to business success
In today’s rapidly changing environment, workforce trends are driving the need for career development at all levels of business. The global talent shortage means that despite hiring intentions rising by an average of 35% across all sectors, 69% of businesses cannot find the skills they need – highlighting the scarcity of talent available in the market.
And while many businesses’ inability to hire the individuals they want comes down to the unavailability of talent, the rise of individual choice is a contributing factor. Flexibility is now the second most important motivation for employees of all ages, genders and geographies, as more people strive for improved work-life balance, career mobility and hybrid-working benefits. And organisations who are unable or perhaps unwilling to offer such flexibility are being left behind.
Implementing and utilising different technology has been necessitated by new ways of working, but failure to provide sufficient support and training for the employees using it has resulted in mounting frustration and dissatisfaction among workforces. Personio research recently found that 36% of employees are now finding that working with too many different technologies is disrupting their productivity.
So what can business leaders do to support employees in the new world of work, while contending with the challenges presented by an unprecedented talent shortage, rapidly accelerating digital transformation and evolving employee expectations?
Employees are now understanding the importance of upskilling in an environment where the skills needed for organisational success are continuously changing, while businesses are acknowledging the need to create a workplace that engages employees and encourages ongoing personal development across every level.
Managers and leaders
Managers and leaders are integral in engaging employees at work. They model and drive positive behaviours within teams, and are key to motivating and sustaining performance. So it’s important that they’re properly equipped with the tools and knowledge required to manage both the emotional and operational impact of our changed world of work.
With sufficient training, leaders can develop the skills needed to engage and motivate direct reports to align with organisational goals. They’ll be well positioned to provide clear expectations through ongoing feedback, and can learn coaching techniques to use during career conversations with team members – enabling them to effectively support each individual.
Providing managers with access to ongoing learning results in increased loyalty, with beneficiaries being 3.3x more likely to stay with their organisation; while 70% agree that an ability to support growth and development in their teams results in higher job satisfaction. So its unsurprising that 49% of learning & development professionals are focusing on working with managers to drive learner engagement and skill-building throughout the wider employee population.
Without having managers and leaders on-board and embedded within the culture of learning and upskilling, businesses will struggle to create a work environment where every employee is committed to unlocking and reaching their full potential.
Every individual will have their own unique response to change and how it impacts the way in which they work. Employees need to feel connected with their purpose and understand their place within a business in order to perform at their best: a prospect that some believe will become more challenging with hybrid-working models.
79% of surveyed senior leaders say the number of in-office workers will never reach pre-pandemic levels – negatively impacting collaboration – while 60% said younger employees would struggle to progress in their careers without the face-to-face contact and in-person mentoring that’s been lost with these new ways of working.
However, by combining continuous development with ongoing support from managers and leaders, individuals can adopt the learning mindset needed for future success, regardless of whether they’re office-based or not. Embracing a willingness to learn can help employees set themselves performance targets and take accountability for achieving their career goals. They’ll be better equipped to adapt to and overcome change, and be able to use feedback from their managers to unlock further development potential.
By investing in the ongoing learning and development of their entire workforce, business leaders can ensure that employees not only understand how they can contribute towards organisational success, but feel motivated and equipped to do so.
Right Management’s Adapt to Thrive programme helps organisations empower their employees in navigating change, while driving performance and productivity.
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Author: Bernadette Hampton, Principal Consultant – Right Management UK