The quality of the talent within an organization and the ability to retain that talent provides corporations a powerful competitive advantage. Additionally, research shows that well‐trained employees are more productive, more engaged and remain loyal to the company. Therefore, it is no surprise that companies devote a lot of time, effort and money to corporate learning. According to the American Society for Training and Development, U.S. firms spent about $156 billion on employee learning and development in 2011. Although most organizations have internal training programs, for those who rely on external providers, formal training is costly and typically requires paid time off for the employee. More and more companies are utilizing online learning as a cost-effective alternative to traditional training programs for its flexible schedule, easy access to courses and more time efficient way for employees to expand their skills and knowledge.
However, despite the focus on training, most companies are not aware of where the strengths and weaknesses lie within their organization and fail to align training with strategic organizational needs and priorities. Furthermore, they also fail to actively engage their workforce with powerful career management tools to help employees align learning with their own career mobility and professional growth.
Aligning Training with Organizational Needs and Priorities
Data may be a viable solution for companies looking to align training with organizational needs. However, as we all know, gathering data for the sake of gathering data has little value. Data must be analyzed effectively and made actionable. When used correctly, HR and Learning Officers can turn the facts and figures they collect into powerful sources of insight and help their organization address financial, sales, marketing and other departmental issues. With this insight, HR and Learning can identify the source of the problem and target training to drive performance and productivity.
More and more, organizations are using employee-driven data to develop skills inventory to gain greater visibility into the collective skills and knowledge of their workforce.
Analyzing data surrounding employee skills can help company leaders take actionable steps to identify gaps, effect succession planning, better determine bench strength, target learning and guide more effective staffing requirements. It can help managers understand which skills have the greatest impact on revenue and focus training and recruiting on developing the necessary skills and attracting the right talent for the organization.
Actively Engaging the Workforce with Powerful Career Management Tools
You may be familiar with the image above. The cartoon captures the frequent dilemma of many companies. Fear of losing staff limits investments. How about you? Do you invest in your people? Keep in mind that the success of your business will depend on the caliber of your internal talent. So, how do you grow and develop your internal talent?
Investing in your employees is important. Investing in the right tools that will empower them to develop the right skills that will contribute to the overall success of the organization is crucial and a competitive differentiator. HR technologies like SkillsMapper are making it easy for organizations to develop, engage and retain their most valuable asset, their employees. SkillsMapper takes learning and online career management to the next level by combining advanced career pathing technology with world-class learning and assessment content. It helps employees identify the areas they need to develop and the experience required to progress inside the company, while enabling management to customize training courses to the individual’s needs and the organization’s goals and priorities.
Align your training initiatives to company strategies. This, will ensure that training stays relevant and contributes to your organization’s success. By having a clear understanding of where your employee skill strengths and weaknesses lie, you will have a strategic outlook on how to develop and grow your company’s most valuable asset.
Wendy Mejia oversees media relations for Zapoint, Inc.