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Don’t Leave Employee Development Behind – Even If It Means Being Short on Staff

September 9, 2021

By Michael Burns, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

For several reasons employee development is currently being left behind. One reported reason is training and development expenses have been significantly cut back during COVID-19. In addition to that, ASE is also hearing that employers are limiting employee training because of the labor shortage and business demands.

A 2019 Gallup poll reports that investment in employee development results in 11% greater profitability. If your organization has let its training and development lapse in the past year, it is time to restart it or risk both lost profits and possibly erosion of employee morale and resulting turnover of employees that will look for a better career opportunity.

A recent Forbes magazine article outlines several strategies that lead to establishing or re-establishing effective employee development programs.

Upskilling and Reskilling – Learning new competencies to stay in the current role and learning new sets of competencies to transition into a new role. This includes behavioral skill training on leadership, innovation, and emotional intelligence

Team Restructuring – Establishing multidisciplinary teams that can be assembled and re-arranged for different needs.

Leadership Coaching – Individual leader coaching can accelerate a manager’s potential and help avoid management missteps around subordinate supervision that can lead to unwanted turnover and in a non-union environment – union organizing.

Use Outside Training and Development Resources to keep development expenses under control – Hiring outside contract training also provides flexibility by being on-demand and bringing in a larger pool of experts with different training programs.

Peer-to Peer Learning – Don’t forget your organization’s own pool of subject matter experts – Identify who within your organization can train on needed skills/competencies and put them together with those that need those skills/competencies. Author Luciana Paulise suggests reverse mentoring to include Gen-Z’s and Millennials teaching Baby Boomers on new technology.

Knowledge Sharing – Be sure to implement knowledge within your organization. Don’t allow knowledge to be lost when employees move on or retire. Know who has the special knowledge and make sure they are sharing it with their colleagues.

New Hire Training – If an organization does not have a new hire orientation and training program, now is the time to develop one. Everyone is looking for help and many current employees will be moving on during the Great Resignation. Make sure the training program not only includes technical skills but also cultural aspects. “Cultural aspects” are organizational values and expected behaviors.

To succeed as a business, employers that invest in employee training and development will see a return in profit and also improved positive employee relations. Longer term, sacrificing it for either budgetary reasons or labor shortage purposes may cause the very result cutting back on training was meant to stave off – poor business performance.

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