If you’re a retail business leader, the next month will likely be your busiest time of year. After the throes of Black Friday and before Cyber Monday’s online frenzy, Small Business Saturday encourage...
The remainder of 2022 will be tricky for business owners to navigate. Some of the most significant hurdles employers are facing this year and beyond are:
- Attracting and retaining top talent
- Upskilling and reskilling employees
- Building and preserving company culture (particularly in a remote or hybrid environment)
- Reducing internal compliance and data security risk
You can't turn on the news or read a news publication these days without seeing something about the "great resignation" and the labor shortage. But it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the challenges facing organizations and what they can do to better position themselves during this competitive time.
Challenge #1: Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
Given the current hot labor market, many organizations are struggling to attract and retain talent. Applicants are carefully considering potential employers and what those employers have in place to help them grow their careers. One way to boost engagement is to provide ample training and development opportunities within your company.
Consider the following statistics:
- 74% of employees feel they aren’t reaching their full potential at work due to a lack of development opportunities.
- 76% of millennials believe professional development opportunities are one of the most important aspects of company culture.
- 76% of employees say that a company would be more appealing if it offered additional skills training to its staff.
Applicants are looking for and expect organizations to provide resources and opportunities to position them for growth and career advancement. Training and employee development are no longer "nice to haves,” they are "must haves."
In addition to evaluating salaries and adding other benefits, organizations should look at the resources they have in place to help employees reach their full potential. Once these resources are in place, be sure they are communicated effectively to applicants. Your organization's training and development resources should be a differentiator!
With many organizations running lean while they search for hiring prospects, current employees are looking to grow their skills so they can contribute more and advance their careers. This also helps with retention efforts, which is important because over 70% of high-retention-risk employees reported they would leave their company in order to advance their careers.
Challenge #2: Upskilling Employees
Upskilling is providing employees the opportunity to learn new skills to improve their current work performance while preparing them for the projected future needs of the company.
When organizations struggle to fill all of their open positions, the remaining employees are needed to fill the gaps. Companies need to upskill employees by providing training and development resources that provide them the knowledge, skills, and abilities to take on new duties and responsibilities.
Upskilling your employees gives them the tools and resources they need to be better at their jobs, thus making your business more competitive in the marketplace.
Challenge #3: Building and Preserving Company Culture in a Remote/Hybrid Environment
There is a saying, "Culture kills vision." If your employees don't know the part they play in their company’s vision and aren't engaged and aligned, the organization will struggle and may fail to see even the best-laid strategies succeed. This is true whether your workforce is currently in the office, working from home, or both.
Many remote-capable employees have continued to work from home following the height of the pandemic lockdowns. According to Gallup, in Q1 2022, 42% of employees were on a hybrid schedule and 39% worked entirely from home.
When you’re managing a remote team, it’s important to let them know they still have a team behind and available to them, even though they’re working from home.
One tip for remote and hybrid team leaders is to carve out extra time for informal communication and to build those interpersonal relationships by over-participating in new and imaginative ways. Now that many of us have grown more comfortable using digital communication platforms, have some fun with it by hosting virtual team happy hours. It’s also important to provide training resources to help supervisors and managers know how to manage a remote team and keep them plugged in.
Challenge #4: Reducing Compliance and Data Security Risks
Did you know that U.S. businesses spend an average of $10,000 per employee on regulatory costs and the average cost of a data breach reached $4.24 million per incident in 2021?
Here are three ways you can help make compliance and data security training a priority in your organization:
1. Promote Top-Down Buy-In
Encouraging employee education should start from the top down. When your leaders show they are engaged in supporting employee development by providing compliance training, it helps cultivate a culture of learning. Before implementing a training program, have a conversation with leadership to determine how it is aligned with the business goals.
2. Make Compliance Training Accessible
To help avoid paying costly fines for compliance violations, prioritize training by making it mandatory for your employees and providing time to complete the program during regular working hours.
3. Provide Training Tools to Support Your Team
Investing in employee training and development is critical to any organization’s—and its employees’—success. It's often difficult to allocate the necessary time and resources to find a high-quality training program that’s flexible and meets all your business needs. But now more than ever, it is critical to the success of the organization.
If you need help turning your organization into an organization that attracts, retains, develops, and engages its employees, we can help. swbcU can help take your organization to the next level. Whether your business already has resources in place or you're just starting to build a culture of growth and looking for real solutions, your company can realize the benefits of a workforce that is continually honing their skill set through ongoing training.
Mandy Smith is Vice President of Training and Employee Development and is responsible for providing SWBC employees with learning and development opportunities which enable them to be more effi cient, eff ective, and engaged. In 2016, she was named a Learning! Champion High Performer by Enterprise Learning! Mandy is a member of the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) and is active in the local chapter. She currently sits on the Chief Learning Officers Business Intelligence Board.