Cultivating a Culture of Workforce Development

Employer-Led Programs

Career Development as an Employee Benefit

Hiring and training workers is expensive, and that can be a huge waste of time and money for both companies and workers. Plus, searching for new jobs and switching jobs are physically and emotionally difficult for individuals. Therefore, existing education-to-work pipeline is no longer working for many workers and employers. However, research shows employers can minimize turnover through many different methods, such as giving workers a sense of purpose, letting them work in self-directed teams, and providing better employee benefits. As the future of work and education become increasingly intertwined, micro-credentials will bridge the on-the-job and academic learning to create university-employer partnerships that help workers get professional certificates paid by the employer as an employment benefit. In addition, employers should be helping to up-skill their staff because training in soft skills will reduce the number of jobs lost to AI and automation. Today’s employees will not be satisfied with having the same job for 30 years. Professional development is not just about moving up the career ladder; it’s also about the opportunity to explore different career pathways that align with their skills and interests and empower them on their terms. Employers need people to grow personally and professionally across departments and functions.

Does your company invest in long-term Skills Development?

Has your company identified the most important soft skills to your company’s success? Do employees get continuous opportunities for growth in your organization? How do you communicate these insights to your employees? What soft skills are expected for employees, and are they aware and have a clear understanding of them? How do you track and measure soft skills training amongst employees? To answer these questions properly, most companies need to start with a fundamental shift in the company’s learning culture. Valuing and building skills must be communicated in the company’s mission and vision statement. Companies and organizations that want to transform their workplace want more soft skills and competency employees. “Stanford Research Center and Harvard University, and Carnegie foundation found that a whopping 85% of job success comes from excellent soft and people skills.” However, skills development is rarely invested into its maximum potential. Employee development should not be “nice to have” but rather be acknowledged by employers as an investment in their company. In today’s employment market, hiring managers emphasize the importance of soft skills. It’s so important it needs to be introduced from the start, supported by daily reinforcement of positive soft skills and habits learned. Understanding your own skills gaps and which competencies you may need to develop to advance your career, both presently and in the future, will be very important in the future. As such, the goal of successful universal skills training is to enhance your career success and organizational growth.

Why should your company use Competencies-Based Education?

Competencies are skills and knowledge that lead you and your company to success. Competencies are essential for success in the human capital and talent management process. From a candidate’s job application through employee development and promotion to leadership roles, competencies give employers, HR professionals, and managers, regardless of the industry or company size, the tools they need to set up a new candidate for organizational success at every step of an employee’s journey.  Competencies can be used through the organization’s hiring and training process, including job descriptions, interview questions, character assessments, and internal training to progress and get promoted. It allows corporate leadership to make effective workforce decisions and organizational changes. Organizations that use competencies can plan for future workforce needs, respond to changing economic conditions, and develop great leaders within the organization. The use of competencies leads to increased retention and hiring of the right people. This leads to lower turnover among high performers, lower overall voluntary turnover, greater ability to hire the best people. Therefore, when maximizing employee engagement and productivity by using competencies, organizations set themselves apart from other companies by becoming a best-in-class company, having higher employee revenue, and improving employee performance. The core competencies adopted thought an organization help differentiate then their rivals optimize cost compared to its competitors thereby creating a clear competitive advantage. Competencies help build value for the customer by creating and developing new goods and services.” According to E-learning Infographics, companies with “comprehensive training programs” have 218% higher revenue per employee and 24% higher profit margins.

Why should companies pay for employees’ tuition?

In today’s competitive job market, tuition-free company-paid college tuition is the key to attracting, retaining, and motivating employees. Many employers such as Starbucks, Amazon, and Walmart pay for short-term credentials because they understand education is a practical employee-retention benefit, especially in a tight labor market. When a company strategically decides to invest in its employees and offers employees a debt-free college path, like Accredicity’s subscription tuition, the organization is viewed as an empathetic, compassionate employer that takes bold, actionable steps to make an employee’s life very meaningful. With Accredicity Learning Ecosystem for Lifelong and Lifewide Learning, Employers can embrace and deploy just-in-time micro-learning by giving access to their employees to the A+ skills-focused content library of bite-size education as needed depending on the competency pillar they want to develop in their teams and workers with gamification features that boost learning in the workplace. Therefore, the rising costs of obtaining a college degree, combined with the skills gap burdening businesses in recruiting and retaining employees, offering a tuition-free way for employees to get a higher education helps solve the student-debt burden, reduces attrition, and creates a pathway for these workers to grow within their organization professionally.

How do companies benefit from investing in their employees?

Skill-based training is excellent for attracting good candidates during the hiring process and proves that your organization is a great environment to work for. But to keep and retain these employees for the long term, you’ll need to invest in their careers by offering strong professional development. Employers should allocate a budget and invest in personal growth and professional development training opportunities for everyone at an organization, no matter their role. If you don’t offer growth opportunities, your employees will take their learning development into their own hands or seek employers who do. Additionally, it’s important to understand that employees disagree that employers provide adequate skills training on the job. Unfortunately, many employers don’t realize how professional development can help them make a powerful investment in their company’s future success. According to MIT, the return on investment for soft skills training can be as high as 250%. Deloitte also said that “hiring employees with more soft skills could increase revenue by more than $90,000.” Additionally, with the high cost of replacing an employee, the benefits of investing in professional development are simply good for business. Personal and professional development training is a highly valuable opportunity for your business. In a 2016 Gallup Survey, 70% of employees indicated that professional development opportunities influenced their decision to stay at their job. Developing your employees’ skills will improve overall performance and productivity, resulting in more satisfied teams and customers. “According to Forbes, employers benefit from investing in employees’ professional development, including combatting skills shortages, staying up-to-date with industry trends, increasing employee engagement, reducing turnover, aiding in succession planning, and attracting better talent overall.” If implemented correctly, these programs, such as the ones offered at ​Accredicity, can have enormous benefits for the company, especially for employee retention. Simply put, learning employees are inspired employees and are more likely to do a good job and ensure that your organization succeeds. This is why achieving higher pay or getting a promotion can be seen as a motivator to encourage professional training within your employees and teams. Plus, these learning opportunities become a clear signal for hiring managers to promote the employees who demonstrate dedication and growth. It’s signaling to your staff that you are making an investment in the future of your employees, which is crucial to the successful performance of your company and great publicity for new recruits. You also need to focus on the professional improvement of your employees as part of the equation for running a successful and more productive business as an owner or manager. Making investing in a Micro-Degree for an employee at Accredicity a Win-Win situation for both Individuals and Employers

How to implement an upskilling program at your company?

Investing in and engaging your employees’ personal and professional development helps build your future-ready workforce, leading to better business outcomes. A Harvard Business Review article on upskilling programs explained that “Companies found that investing in skills learning enabled both performance and reliability of their workers.” It also stated that employee reskilling can be a short-term “strategy to fuel and sustain company growth,” but ideally, “upskilling is a longer-term investment in augmenting the knowledge, skills, and competencies that help employees advance their careers.” It’s important to know that when employers offer employees learning opportunities for personal growth or professional development, metrics such as employee engagement and retention improve. To start, an employee must self-advocate the type of skill-based education programs they want to learn from. While employers and managers may recommend specific topics based on business goals, you will get better results if employees are empowered to select the courses that interest them. It’s also crucial for such educational offerings to provide clear paths and milestones like micro-credentials or micro-degrees. This way, employers and employees have insight into their progress, and no one gets frustrated by never-ending training programs. By being clear on training expectations, employees have a framework for career progression. Companies have a framework for employee evaluation, training development, retention, and advancement, which help with an organization’s long-term strategy. The core benefits of such empowerment and training programs are that workers’ engagement will increase, turnover will be low, and employees will be proud to work at the company. Companies will empower today’s workers to potentially be tomorrow’s leaders by offering upskilling learning opportunities.

How can employers help reduce the Skills and Technology Gap?

The widening skills and technology gap can substantially impact a company’s growth and prosperity. This is why it’s important to incorporate professional development into your recruitment and training strategy from job posting through the hiring stage and into employee onboarding and ongoing training.

Cultivating a Culture of People Development

Besides getting paid more or receiving better benefits, creating a positive culture and work environment is the next most important reason employees quit their jobs. In addition, Millennials and Gen Zers are more likely to leave an organization if they do not receive professional development throughout their employment. According to Forbes research, 86% of employees said: “they would change jobs if it meant more opportunities for professional development.“ Plus, LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report discovered that “94% of employees would stay with a company longer if it invested in their career.” When employers are willing to provide their employees with a culture of continuous learning at work, they feel valued. People development is a long game. This creates a good reputation as a company that prioritizes professional development to attract even better talent motivated to learn and grow. All staff should continuously learn from entry-level workers to experienced employees throughout their careers. Combined with a culture that allows for growth and promotion within the company to more opportunities or leadership positions, your organization will be set apart from other companies in your area or industry when hiring and attracting new candidates. It’s true when they say that great people make great organizations.

Create Top Performers for your Organization

Organizations are looking for higher-level learners who have various skills to become leaders in their organizations. This is why instead of spending time and money on hiring and firing workers, employers should invest in education to help attract new staff, keep current employees and transform them into Top Performers. Having a culture will ensure you are always ahead of your competitors since it’s forward-thinking employees who will take full advantage of your professional development programs, ultimately leveraging these top performers to help your business succeed. These top performers will know the organization values them and that you are invested in their future. Personal and professional development and the potential for career growth opportunities for these top performers are significant to their decision to remain at a company and make it less likely for these high achievers to leave your business. These future leaders who seek these types of programs will recognize that a company is investing in an employee’s personal and professional education, which will lead to believing in the company, treating the customers better, and staying longer within the organization.

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