Millions of companies throughout nearly all industries are making the huge error of not preparing or training their employees to compete in the drastically changing workplace.
New technologies are coming out and changing the work landscape forever. And as a result of these technological advances, it’s expected that 54% of the world’s workforce will need to completely re-train in their profession by 2022 to still be able to compete in the marketplace.
Now, the obvious answer might seem to hire new full-time talent who are already proficient in the areas you need. Though this will come at a high cost that your company may not be able to afford.
But the true leading, pioneering companies of the world are blazing their way forward and look like they’ll grow even more prominent during these rapidly changing times.
This future is something your company needs to prepare for too, urgently. It could be the difference between prosperity and total devastation for your organization.
How elite companies are training their employees to prepare for the future (it’s boosting profits now too)
By investing more into your existing workforce as soon as possible, you can begin preparing for the fast-surging technological changes in the workplace. The faster this is done, the better, as the European Commission shows that 37% of European workers don’t even possess basic digital skills. When data-driven technologies like AI become more apparent in companies, basic digital skills won’t be enough, but rather advanced skills will be an almost necessity. Plus, workers with underdeveloped digital skills can be a cybersecurity risk, as malicious actors will seek to exploit any perceived vulnerability.
Here’s what leading companies are doing right now to prepare for this uncertain future:
- Reskilling: When a company assists employees to undergo complete career transformations through new educational opportunities. This type of training teaches employees how to use new tools and systems to do their job more effectively. Reskilling is becoming crucial in industries where there’s not enough talent to meet demand, such as those taken over and drastically changed by AI. This action helps companies avoid the process of recruiting new employees and therefore spending a lot more money.
- Upskilling: Unlike reskilling, upskilling focuses on enabling employees to use new technologies to complete their existing jobs more efficiently, rather than training for an entirely new career. Many exciting new tools are available now for the workforce to improve decision-making and processes, so employees must learn how to use them.
Companies have two main options to help employees learn new skills: (1) develop their own training programs or (2) look to 3rd party online learning platforms. Online platforms such as Udacity, Coursera, and Udemy, and various universities offer free and paid courses to help develop your employees’ skills. Enabling your employees to take these courses will also increase your profits right now because, obviously, the more proficient they become at their job the more you’ll be able to improve customer value management, and the more it’ll help your business grow.
Some of the notable areas offered in these courses include machine learning, AI, data science, cybersecurity, and much more. The courses your employees should take greatly depend on your industry. Many successful organizations choose to partner with educational institutions to create customized online coursework that enables current employees to continue working while also developing new skills for the future.
These (highly-respected) online certifications will improve every aspect of your business
There are also many online certifications offered by various institutions, including many of the ones listed above. They cover a wide range of areas, such as data science, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more.
Certifications like the Business Analytics Specialization offered by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania aim to provide beginners with an introduction to big data analytics. By relying on real-world data sets, certifications like this help enable a workforce to make strategic decisions based on data, whether they work in marketing, operation, finance, or even human resources professions.
Other certifications are much more complex. For example, DataCamp is a program that helps people “build data skills online,” such as non-coding essentials to data science and machine learning with their more than 340 interactive courses and 90 projects with hands-on learning experiences.
But no matter the industry, one of the best topics of certifications for a company is data science. Every successful organization now relies on some level of data, and as the amount of available data continues to grow, so do the potential insights that you can extract from it.
Not every employee will need to be competent in data science, but by having some experts in this area within your company, you can optimize what you’re currently doing.
Exciting real-life examples that show you how to train and re-train your employees
I’m not here just to bore you by explaining theoretically how it’s possible. Let’s take a look at some ground-breaking companies you may be able to learn a thing or two regarding training your employees.
First, is Ooredoo Group who has been named Most Innovative Company of the Year. Their unique approach to developing and retaining the best talent by first identifying the employees’ learning and development needs and then providing them with appropriate training has been a big success. Each employee has their own tailored, well-defined career pathway mapped out for them, delivered through webinars, e-learning, peer-to-peer learning programs, on-the-job training, coaching & mentoring, and through a formal classroom approach.
The second leading company blazing the way without spending loads of money on expensive talent is Oracle Corporation. Named by LinkedIn as one of the top companies “where the US wants to work now,” they also founded Oracle University, which has courses that guide employees step-by-step to learning specific, high-value skills.
On the Oracle website, they recognize that non-trained and certified employees are ten times more prone to accidents on the job than their better-invested counterparts. That’s why they’ve adopted a culture of continuous learning within their organization.
The one thing standing between you and your business goals
Make no mistake, as a business owner, your employees’ skills are what’s standing between you and your goals. If your staff are highly competent in their chosen area, then you’ll do much better as a company.
So all of the steps listed above are crucial for any business looking to succeed in these rapidly changing times. Of course, no one training program will fit every company in every sector, so each organization must develop its own model based on its workforce.
By adopting this lifelong learning culture in your business, you can ensure your company will continue to thrive in this increasingly competitive world of business – without the need to spend loads of money hiring pricey full-time talent.
Alternatively, you can take the shortcut and search our pool of talented professionals operating in project management, management consulting, business technology, and more who can take your organization to the next level.
Doug Walker is an Online Marketing Expert that has built successful eCommerce businesses from the ground up, worked with enterprise-level organizations such as Dell, Intuit, Coldwater Creek, and FindLaw/Thomson Reuters, and consulted for small law firms and businesses. Over the past 13 years, Doug has taken a customized, proprietary approach to digital marketing and has written several articles to help maximize revenue and dominate online niches