The fourth wave of workforce transformation – the digital revolution – was predicted to see significant growth over the next 5 years. But last years’ pandemic accelerated that growth, with new technologies aimed at digital business continuity initiatives. As communities looked for ways to reduce exposure to the Covid19 virus, many offices moved employees’ home, schools and healthcare went to virtual platforms, and commerce was conducted online.
Some application and technology sectors saw unprecedented growth. E-commerce platform, Shopify, experienced a 70% increase in business during the first half of 2020. Stories are similar for many companies (like Zoom) that provide digital platforms and services. Today, organizations are still adapting, transitioning people, processes, and technology, to innovative business models.
If your company is looking to upskill a workforce with critical competencies for the new world of work, consider these 5 employee development plan ideas.
- Define the business objectives.
When you understand where your business is going, you can define what development plans should look like for teams and individuals. Where are you today versus, where do you need to be.
As entire industries reposition themselves in this digital, data-driven new world, they need to develop internal talent to help bridge the skills gap.
As an organization, define how to achieve business objectives, with processes and technologies required to move ahead, identifying operational groups who will be most impacted. Learning and development teams, along with business unit leaders, can then map out the skills available in your talent pool today, to the future skills required.
- Assess current employees for skills gaps and identify easily transferable skills.
Does your business plan to expand by offering more goods and services online? You may require more technical skills across various teams.
Take retail & banking industries as examples. In-store customer service representatives may be good candidates to transfer to online roles, in operational support functions. If the nature of business has changed, how do you allow the workforce to transition with you?
Taking the time to create development plans for individuals whose jobs have been impacted, gives employees a career path to follow, and employers the ability to retain valuable company knowledge. Developing internal candidates means you’re not as dependent on recruiting in a competitive environment.
It is also important when assessing candidates to look at behavioral competencies. Attributes & skills like critical thinking and analysis, problem-solving, active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility, all have emerged as important indicators of success in adapting to change and transition.
- Analyze the value proposition to retain employees, as part of organizational development initiatives.
When you are implementing talent development plans, stakeholders need a clear picture of why it is important in the overall strategy to develop and train internally. Today’s environment puts many critical skills in high demand.
Ensure that you have what it takes to keep employees active and interested in the business, beyond offering professional development opportunities.
Perhaps work-life balance and the flexibility of work that was introduced during the pandemic, has some aspects worth keeping – like remote work? Or a hybrid work arrangement? Is your compensation structure reflective of the limited supply of talent available today, and does it allow for career progression?
Conduct surveys among employees to determine what is important.
One way to add value to the employee experience is to give them the tools to visualize their future in your organization. CompetencyCore's visual Career Path Navigation lets employees chart their own course for advancement and shows them exactly what they need to do to reach their dream job, with built-in assessments and learning resources.
- Invest in employee development.
Investing in your employee’s development means different things to different teams in the organization. While there may be technical skills and certifications lacking for those emerging technologies, not everyone requires an investment in expensive external training programs.
If the organization has committed to employee development, then you need to build a process around it that not only guides employees but links their activities to tangible career paths.
This is where software like CompetencyCore keeps employee development focused on the right activities and outcomes – and puts the tools in their hands to show them the way, with instant access to 5000+ tailored development activities.
- Make training accessible.
Think about the knowledge that exists today and how you can tap into it to train others. Maybe there is the opportunity to be assigned to a new project, lead by a technical SME that acts as a mentor for more junior talent.
Other ways you make training accessible:
- Promote internal and industry networking groups as an avenue to learn. Allow time to attend events.
- Curate a list of external online training titles and build it into a learning library that can be accessed by all for self-paced training.
- Tie training to digital credentials and other forms of recognition, to acknowledge and reward employees for attaining new skills.
- Designate 1 day a month as an employee development day, for staff to go off and learn about skills or topics related to work. Build it into the company culture.
By creating a development plan that elevates the skills and knowledge of an entire workforce, companies can create a bridge between technical competencies that exist today and what is needed for future success. Providing opportunities for training and learning on-the-job, ensures organizations are future-ready. Find out what best-practice career development looks like with our free ebook, “Engaging and Developing Talent with Competencies.”
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