Workforce development refers to all post-secondary education and training programs that expand the skills and capabilities of existing employees. The most effective workforce development programs offer pathways into higher-paying, higher-skilled jobs by enabling workers to learn new skills and earn credentials. At the same time, they allow organizations to cultivate a highly talented group of workers rather than relying entirely on new hires.
How is workforce development critical to business strategy?
Focusing on developing skills is not enough for businesses to stand out in such competitive times. The market is changing too quickly, and the rate of reskilling is not catching up. Therefore, a workforce development approach is needed that focuses on personalized learning, experiences, leadership, and growth. Workforce development must be integrated with business strategy and consistently re-evaluated to align with the changes in the modern market.
A holistic framework focusing on personalized development should be considered to achieve this. Organizations need to employ workforce development strategies to build their workers’ resilience, reskill workers, and equip them with the tools they need to adapt to difficult/uncertain situations. In this short piece, we will discuss why workforce development is essential.
Workforce development allows organizations to define the skills and competencies required for their future business strategies, identify the issues with the current strategies, and create innovative strategies and workforce development programs that focus on the workers’ needs. According to a Deloitte Survey, 73% of workers believe that organizations should play the primary role in their workforce development. Of these, 59% said they need additional training to meet the demands of their workforce and the changing market economy. Modern workers want to develop skills and experiences that interest them the way they want. As such, organizations need to implement holistic workforce development strategies that provide meaningful integrated development experiences.
Are employers with effective workforce development strategies winning the war for talent?
Bryan Peña, CEO of Defiant Solutions, suggests that training and fostering growth on the job can make an organization stand out among the competition, making it an employer of choice.
Focusing solely on employees is not enough in such a competitive hiring environment. Organizations must consider their contingent workforce. Organizations should provide growth opportunities to all members of their workforce. These shifts are already accelerating due to changes furthered by the pandemic. Remote and hybrid working environments have brought these changes organically for some organizations. Organizations are offering greater flexibility and focusing on the overall well-being of their employees.
How do employers ensure the success of workforce development programs?
Organizations must empower their workers to choose their development path that aligns with their strengths, goals, and passions. Workers should be put at the center of workforce development strategies. These strategies should focus on workers’ needs and expectations. Workers want experiences that interest them at the time they want and in the way they want.
Frontline workers rank job growth as the number one employment need above pay and job security. 75% of Frontline workers want to be promoted; only 25% achieve it. Jimmy Iannuzzi, VP and General Manager at nTech Workforce, says this is a crucial metric as only one out of four frontline workers are being promoted. This makes them feel stuck in their jobs. Companies must invest heavily in workforce development and job growth to retain and engage their employees. Organizations should eliminate unnecessary barriers to job growth and promotion.
Where is the best place to start?
To empower their employees, organizations should focus on cultivating capabilities first instead of building skills, leverage workers’ passion for engaging them instead of developing specific skills for short-term goals, support learning while working instead of traditional education and formal training, reward employees based on their capabilities development and value added to the organization instead of rewarding on work output and finally preparing the workforce in a way that benefits the entire community/society instead of a myopic focus on the organization alone.
At nTech Workforce, we believe employee growth and empowerment are critical to a healthy and productive workforce. Our creative and innovative solutions are holistic approaches to workforce management designed to ensure that your team wins instead of facing bottlenecks.